On the Action Bus website they have pdf timetables for their bus routes that includes times when Easy Access buses will be running. Easy Access is essentially a nice way of saying a new bus will be running on a route at a certain time rather than the dinosaur orange buses.
In theory this helps people with wheelchairs, babies in prams, limited mobility etc. know when they are able to catch a bus. In practice, it’s usually just as much pot luck whether a new or an old bus turns up.
As an example, today I went to catch the #39 into the city at 1pm. This is listed on the timetable as an Easy Access bus but it was an old one. When I told the bus driver that it should be an Easy Access bus, she looked at me blank and said there was nothing on her schedule to indicate that and she just drives the bus she is given.
A passenger offered to help me in the back door and I reluctantly accepted. I then blocked half of the bus because I couldn’t move down into the narrow aisle. Embarrassed, I got out at Dickson and waited for a new bus, any new bus, that would take me to the city. I got one that ended up being the slow boat through Lyneham, Turner and O’Connor.
Is this really the best ACTION Buses can do? The timetable is there to help everyone gain access to a semi-reliable public transport. It’s bad enough that not all buses are fully accessible but worse still that the timetable can’t be relied on by people in wheelchairs or who are otherwise restricted.