The ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) today welcomed changes to the ACT’s transport network but cautioned that more needs to be done to support Canberrans facing transport disadvantage.
Dr Emma Campbell, ACTCOSS CEO, said: "We are pleased that the Government has responded to community feedback with additional off-peak services and better connectivity and accessibility through improved routes.
"Fast and frequent commuter bus and light rail services are essential. However, we also need a transport system that is flexible and meets the needs of people at risk of social isolation and transport disadvantage. This includes older people, students and young people, people with disability, new migrants and others who do not have access to cars.
"ACTCOSS has continued to highlight the issues created by transport disadvantage which include barriers to accessing employment opportunities and essential health services."
To reduce social isolation and improve access to essential services, ACTCOSS has called for a diverse public transport system including:
- Additional funding for community transport providers
- Improved on-demand transport including through the ACT Government’s Flexibus
- Full compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act by all ACT public transport vehicles
- A lifting of the cap on the ACT Taxi Subsidy Scheme for people with disabilities.
Dr Campbell continued: "As Canberra grows and new suburbs are built, we need to ensure that new communities have community facilities, appropriate services and good transport networks.
"In the lead up to the ACT Election, ACTCOSS will be calling on all parties to commit to a comprehensive audit of community needs in planning, including transport."
ACTCOSS advocates for social justice in the ACT and represents not-for-profit community organisations.
Dr Emma Campbell, CEO, ACTCOSS, on 0424 910 617 or
Craig Wallace, Policy Manager, ACTCOSS, on 0477 200 755.