Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Shane Rattenbury, has announced a new ‘community transport’ initiative to better meet the transport needs of the aged, people with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other transport-disadvantaged Canberrans.
“In conjunction with the introduction of the bus network in the middle of this year, we will also pilot an improved community transport coordination system,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“The development of an electronic booking system to coordinate ACTION’s existing special needs transport buses to flexibly serve people with particular transport needs, such as the elderly and disabled, is the first stage of the pilot study.
“Passengers will be able to book the service up to the day before travel. The flexible routes then vary from day to day depending on the request of passengers.
“When fully developed, the booking system will record the details and travel requirements of eligible passengers and, where possible, match their requirements with the transport needs of other passengers as well as vehicles in the area.
“The regular transport network doesn’t work for every person in every place – for example an older person without a car who has trouble walking to a bus stop. This flexible transport network is designed to ensure these people can still travel conveniently, to shop, visit family or friends or run other errands.
(Media Release Shane Rattenbury)
“The initial trial is funded using a $500,000 allocation from the 2014-15 ACT Budget. It will improve community bus services in suburbs within the inner north, inner south, Belconnen, Woden and Weston suburbs. My hope is that the system works successfully and that further funding will expand the service in next year.
“When fully operational the community transport coordination system will manage all community transport resources, including government, community and private services.
“The service will mean far more than a simple lift from one point to another; it is an opportunity to enhance social inclusion in Canberra,” Mr Rattenbury concluded.
In coming weeks ACTION will release further details on the pilot service and how eligible people can access it.