In response to a second review of the accessible public transport standard, the Australian Government produced a whole journey guide. The 2017 guide was developed through in-depth consultations and workshops with all stakeholders. A third review was carried out in 2018. Here are some key points:
- Prior to the introduction of the Transport Standards there was no focused effort to remove discrimination from Australia’s public transport systems.
- The Transport Standards aimed to provide certainty of Disability Discrimination Act responsibilities, as well as a focus on a customers, liveable communities and the uptake of new technologies.
- Transport for NSW access upgrades requires local council co-ordination, apps and real time information to give people with disability information about accessible routes and transport, starting from the home.
- One the problems with access standards for transport is they were too prescriptive, cobbled together from other standards, with no understanding about transport related issues, and significantly strove for minimums, not excellence.
- Accessible transport is an enabler, promoting age-friendly cities, with walking as an ingredient. Hence the need to look at the whole journey, requiring quality footpaths, kerb crossings, and pedestrianisation.
The Whole Journey: A guide for thinking beyond compliance to create accessible public transport journeys, can be downloaded in sections from the Department of Infrastructure website. There’s a good section on universal design that shows how it captures other terms.
“The principles of universal design can also be applied to the design of programs run by government, businesses and non-government organisations. This will result in greater efficiency by maximising the number of people who can use and access a program without the need for costly add-ons or specialised assistance.”
The National Disability Strategy is also mentioned in this section.