Special needs train passengers overlooked
21 May 2021
The desperate need to upgrade V/Line trains to make all carriages accessible to Victorians with a disability has been overlooked, leaving the special needs community with ongoing uncertainty around making travel plans.
People with a disability have reported waiting hours stranded in the cold at stations or waiting for replacement taxis because trains weren’t properly fitted out, despite having requested disability access when the tickets were booked.
What the Government needed to address was two-fold.
It needed a budget allocation to bring carriages and therefore services up to scratch to cater for the disability sector, but in the interim it needs a better way to communicate with those passengers with special needs.
Unfortunately neither rated a mention in this week’s State Budget.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Regional Public Transport Steph Ryan
"The Andrews Labor Government has failed people with disabilities who are being told they must be on the platform minutes before boarding because V/Line’s disability services aren’t disability friendly.
"It’s not good enough the Government is not investing money to make V/Line’s fleet more accessible."
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Disability Tim Bull
"This government talks a lot about equality but does not deliver when it comes to the basics.
"We simply wanted funding so patrons with special needs have the same travel opportunities as the wider community, but all we get is silence.
"It is an issue we will continue to highlight and seek a solution to."