The Eastern Region Client Network aims to provide a voice for people with disabilities through encouraging and information sharing on the issues facing their members.
I was invited to the May meeting of the network to explain the role of the Public Transport Users Association and to discuss transport issues affecting people with disabilities. Concerns raised include the difficulty in using the current ticketing system, difficulties in signalling drivers for access to trains, the poor frequency of bus routes and lack of service coordination.
Public transport provides not only an economically and environmentally sustainable form of travel but also helps enhance social inclusion through providing a network that is accessible for people of all abilities. While positive improvements are being made in terms of the physical access for public transport, service standards are still too poor to provide most of Melbourne with a real transport. This can be quite detrimental to people with disabilities, who often do not have access to a car to accommodate their transport needs.
The Eastern Region Client Network meets on a monthly basis at Forest Hill and is supported by Activate Communities and VALID Inc.