Public Transport across Victoria remains largely inaccessible to disabled people. This increases our isolation and invisibility in our communities. It also increases our dependence on others.
While others are rejoicing in a lifting of restrictions, for many of us in the disabled community, our towns and neighbourhoods remain as they have long been, locked down and inaccessible due to a lack of appropriate accessible transport options be it buses, trains or trams.
Public transport is the fundamental service that allows us to head out for a coffee, to do a shop, go to work, the movies, attend a doctor, visit with friends, go to the pub for a beer and a host of other everyday activities others take for granted.
How are we to live our lives to the fullest if we are rendered invisible and apart from the world by a lack of Public Transport access? A lack that forces us to stay at home and out of sight unless we are lucky to have the funds or people in our lives to drive us.
To borrow from Government jargon, where is our “Choice and Control” when we can’t even get on the bus to go out into the world when we want or need.
We have seen from the pandemic that changes that increase access, be it telehealth or work from home, can be quickly implemented when there is political will. We have campaigned for nearly 40 years for accessible public transport. By 2022, the National Disability Standards for Accessible Transport, states that 80-90% of our Public Transport system is supposed to be accessible yet we are nowhere near this goal and there are no ramifications if this target is not met.
Stop the excuses and end the #LifelongLockdownfor disabled people in our communities.
Melissa Horne MP , as COVID lockdown subsides, I am asking you to end #LifelongLockdown for Victorians with disabilities by making a fully accessible public transport system an urgent priority. #WeHavePlacesToGo
Luke Donnellan MP Jacinta Allan Disability Resources Centre