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Pierre Kuhn
Accessibility a big issue for Australian public transport
News Watch
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I am sure most of you have seen the disturbing video and images of people with disability trying to reach the train platform at Unanderra station.Why is this happening?

If you haven't see the SMH or the Daily Telegraph articles, click on the links.

Ms Berejiklian, our transport minister was distressed and concerned. Here a quote from the SMH:

"It's distressing to see anyone in the community struggle to access public transport – whether they're elderly, customers with a disability or families with prams," Ms Berejiklian said.

"I want to see every station on the network accessible with ramps or lifts and that's why, since coming to government, we have worked hard to upgrade stations as part of the Transport Access Program.

"When we came to government, nearly two-thirds of all stations on the network were not accessible via ramps or lifts."

So nearly two-thirds of all stations on the network where not accessible in 2012!!! So has the situation changed? Is the government on track to make a true impact on accessibility? Here is what the Daily Telegraph has to say:

About 40 per cent of the 307 stations on the City Rail network, which includes the Hunter Valley, South Coast, Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands, have ramps or lifts for the disabled.

Former federal Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes has previously criticised Sydney Trains for not meeting compulsory targets for wheelchair access to stations.

Under the Commonwealth’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport Guidelines (2004), Sydney Trains needs to have provided wheelchair access to 245 stations by 2017.

So doing the maths here, according to Ms Berejiklian nearly 2/3 of stations, or 70% where not accessible and 30% where in 2012. In numbers that is approx. 92 stations accessible and 215 stations not accessible in 2012. It is now 2015 and according to the Daily Telegraph 40% are now accessible. That means 10% increase in approx. 3 years. In numbers that means we now have 123 accessible stations instead of 92. That's definitely an improvement but if the government is going to reach it's target of 247 stations by 2017, they better get their skates on!

At the current growth rate of approx. 10% every 3 years they will meet the target of 245 stations by 2027!!!!!!!!

We hope to see more community initiatives like the Facebook page, "Elevators for Unanderra Train Station", calling for lifts to be installed at Unanderra station started by Ms Schmidt, a former Transport for NSW employee. 



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