The ACT Government is making it easier to travel around Canberra, by building the public transport infrastructure for persons with disabilities.
“We will deliver 88 new or improved bus stops this year, following on from more than 70 upgrades delivered over the past year,” said Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel.
“By improving the accessibility of local bus stops we’re making it easier for everyone to move around our city, including older Canberrans, carers and people living with a disability.
“We recognise that for people to choose public transport as a regular mode of travel, it has to be convenient, reliable, comfortable and safe. That’s what we’re delivering with these upgrades.”
Upgrades include adjustments to bus stop concrete waiting areas, connecting paths to facilitate wheelchair access and installation of tactile ground surface indicators to assist the visually impaired.
An example of these works is the recently-completed upgrades to the major stop on the corner of Haydon Drive and College Street in Belconnen – one of four bus stops upgraded along Haydon Drive in the past year.
A new 11.5 metre shelter has been installed, replacing a bunker shelter with limited capacity. In addition, new tactile surfaces and a concrete pad provide better access for Canberrans with a disability.
Two new stops have also been established in Whitlam, to complement the new Route 47 which is providing connections to both Belconnen and Denman Prospect since launching earlier this year.
“We are working to ensure people have greater choice in how and when they travel, and can move seamlessly between modes regardless of where they live or their diverse needs,” said Minister Steel.
These accessibility upgrades support last week’s announcement that every bus across the ACT fleet will be a low-floor, accessible bus by the end of this year. The remaining 34 DDA non-compliant Renault orange buses are being retired, as part of the transition to a zero emissions and fully accessible transport fleet.
“All these investments mean Canberrans will able to enjoy a smoother, quieter and more comfortable journey when they get on board public transport,” said Minister Steel.
For Council on the Ageing (COTA) ACT, news of these bus stop upgrades is warmly received.
“It is very good to hear the ACT government considering the vital part public transport plays in the lives of many senior Canberrans, especially when more than one quarter of our community is an older person” says COTA ACT CEO Jenny Mobbs.
For more information on this project and to keep updated, visit www.transport.act.gov.au.