Get moving on Transport – Dignity for Disability releases transport policy
Improving transport services is one of the most straightforward ways to support people with disabilities to engage with the community, said Dignity for Disability Party Leader Kelly Vincent MLC today as she launched the Party’s transport policy.
“Our state’s lack of accessible and affordable transport options is stopping people with disabilities from having the same work, study and social options as others,” said Ms Vincent.
Dignity for Disability’s three main transport policy points are:
– Demerit points for people in disability parking spaces without a permit. “When a person with a disability can’t find parking it doesn’t just mean they’re ten minutes late – it often means they have to entirely give up on where they are going,” said Ms Vincent. “The seriousness of this parking offence needs to be reflected in the punishment – people should accrue demerit points for parking in an accessible space without a permit.”
– Overhaul the South Australian Transport Subsidy Scheme. “The system that doles out access cab vouchers for people with disabilities is broken,” said Ms Vincent. “The maximum subsidised amount for an access cab ride has been $40 for the last five years, but in that time actual fare prices have increased more than 15 per cent. Obviously, the subsidy should increase with the price.
“Secondly, the system is awfully inflexible and only allows those using the vouchers for transport to work or study to nominate one pick-up point and one drop-off point. This doesn’t take into account the fact that many people work or study in multiple locations, or that they might stay the night with a friend or partner.
“There are also an unrealistically low amount of vouchers given out – 80 vouchers for every six months is not even enough to travel from home to an appointment twice a week.
“Finally, access cab drivers have a low level of training which often means an uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous journey for people with disabilities – so we’re calling for more training as part of licensing conditions for access cab drivers.”
– Accessible public transport by 2018. “All public transport should be accessible – particularly in a state with an ageing population – but South Australia is failing on many fronts,” said Ms Vincent. “We have a plan to make all buses accessible for people with disabilities by 2018 – including ensuring all train and tram stops and stations are fully accessible and making sure audio announcements are clear and regular for people with vision impairment. Additionally, we also have ongoing concerns about rail safety. Finally, regional transport needs to be made wheelchair accessible and to be more frequent.”