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Catching bus more accessible for persons with disabilities

A man in a wheelchair moves to the lift of an accessible bus

Sunshine Coast Council has reached a major milestone on June 1 2021, in providing 719 (98%) bus stops across the region now meeting disability access requirements. 

Mayor Mark Jamieson said this major milestone benefited everyone in our community including people living with a disability, carers, parents with prams and many of our senior residents.

“While the State Government through TransLink is responsible for providing and operating public transport, all councils have a role and responsibility in providing accessible bus stops,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Our council, in partnership with the Queensland Government, is completing its Bus Stop Accessibility Upgrade Program 18 months ahead of the Federal Government’s target completion date of December 2022.

“The bus stop upgrades started in 2007 as part of meeting the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and the Commonwealth Government’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 which were developed to make public transport accessible for everyone in our communities.

“Thanks to council’s Transport Levy, introduced in 2014, council has contributed more than $3.9 million from the Levy funds towards this initiative, in addition to the $3.8 million from general funds.

“As a healthy, smart and creative region, it is incumbent on us to ensure our public facilities are safe and accessible to all.”

As part of this program, existing bus stops were upgraded and new bus stops were installed to achieve DDA compliance.

Almost all of Sunshine Coast bus stops from Caloundra to Peregian Springs and from Mooloolaba to the hinterland have been upgraded to provide the community with:

  • concrete bus stop surfaces
  • signage
  • installation of tactile ground surface indicators
  • handrails
  • manoeuvring areas
  • upgraded footpath connections to bus stop locations.

Member for Caloundra Jason Hunt said the Queensland Government has contributed more than $4.2 million to Sunshine Coast Council in upgrading existing passenger facilities.

“Accessing essential public transport services so you can maintain independence and participate in society is a basic human right,” Mr Hunt said.

“Upgrading bus stops to be more accessible is one of the simplest ways to remove some of the barriers that people with disability or mobility issues find challenging when using public transport.

“The Queensland Government is committed to creating a single integrated transport network accessible to everyone, and Sunshine Coast Council plays an important role too through upgrade programs like these.”

“I congratulate Mayor Jamieson and Council for pushing this program forward and improving the quality and accessibility of bus stops right across the Sunshine Coast.”

The remaining 11 sites are difficult to make compliant and consequently are under detailed review by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

For more information on how to plan your journey visit TransLink’s journey planner.

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