A City for Everyone: Draft Inclusive Brisbane Plan 2019-2029 - Theme 1: Connect
By 2029 Brisbane will be a city for everybody - known worldwide for embracing all ages, abilities and cultures.
I have the freedom to choose how I get to places, including ways that are good for my health.
Brisbane is a city with a range of accessible public, private and active transport. By 2029, people of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds will be able to access information about travel options, use them easily, and feel satisfied with being able to safely and efficiently move around Brisbane and get to where they need to be.
Council will continue to invest in accessible public transport, deliver more comfortable trips and more travel options for everyone. Brisbane will be one of the world’s great walking and wheeling cities, and residents will have access to smart, sustainable travel choices.
Transport for everyone
Council recently modified all buses and CityCats, as well as many bus stops and ferry terminals, so everyone can use them, from passengers in wheelchairs to parents with prams. Council will continue delivering Australia’s most modern public transport fleet, and plan for a new metro system that will deliver more efficient boarding for everyone.
Council recognises that public transport is important for people with mobility limitations, as well as their families and carers, to participate fully in community life [iv]. Up to a third of Australians with a disability say a lack of access to transport can be a significant barrier to inclusion [v].
Residents and visitors value information and support to build confidence in using public transport. Things such as knowing how to pay for the ferry, having the ability to read timetables in diverse languages or knowing which bus is the right one, can make using public transport easy and efficient.
A range of ways to find out about where you are on your bus journey may also have a role to play in helping people feel comfortable using public transport in Brisbane.
Walking, wheeling and cycling
I can get to where I need to be safely and efficiently.
Council will continue to improve the city’s walking and cycling paths, and to expand the network of paths able to be shared by pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchairs, prams and mobility devices.
As housing density in some suburbs increases, walking, wheeling and public transport will become even more critical for getting around efficiently to retain our health and connect with the outdoors. Studies show that people with lower incomes rely more heavily on public transport [vi].
Older people are also more likely to walk or take the bus, train or ferry than drive [vii]. More people today are walking and cycling for recreation, and to stay healthy. Research shows physical activity not only strengthens muscles but protects the brain, lowering the risk of disease such as Alzheimer’s disease as we age [viii].
Through neighbourhood planning, Council and residents are identifying the most used pathways between homes and the places people need to get to every day such as bus stops, schools, parks and shopping centres. This will guide future enhancements of pathways so that everyone can use them safely and connect to where they need to be.
New technologies combined with traditional paper-based information could help people of all abilities to confidently navigate the city by highlighting the most accessible routes. Exploring the role of accessible electric and three-wheeled bikes may also provide access for people previously unable to cycle.
Council recognises that cars will continue to have a role in the way residents get around and will remain allocating accessible parking bays and safe set-down areas. Changes to residential permits are already making parking easier for carers, cheaper for seniors and simpler for everyone.
Over the next 10 years, connecting all modes of travel will increase seamless end-to-end journeys for all residents and visitors.
Between 2019 and 2029, Council is considering a focus on the following strategies and possible actions.
Deliver exemplary accessible public transport
- Partner with industry bodies to assist in the development of standards for improving safety measures to secure wheelchairs, mobility devices and prams while travelling on buses.
- Advocate for technological solutions to advise passengers when the next bus is approaching and, when on board, to identify upcoming stops.
- Provide a review of bus operator training to ensure staff continue to meet the needs of people of all ages, abilities and cultures.
- Partner with stakeholders to examine the provision of enhanced access to public transport through possible initiatives such as free CityCat travel within the CityHopper zone for people with a mobility impairment (and their carers) who are unable to use the free CityHopper ferry service.
Make the whole journey easier
- Partner with community organisations and Brisbane Marketing to create a mobile phone application with a map (a printed map to be available from the Visitor Information Centre) as well as a digital (potentially augmented reality) platform to assist people with disability to navigate Brisbane streets, public spaces, buildings and plan their journey.
- Provide upgrades of key paths joining key public transport stops and other destinations.
- Provide information about how to catch public transport in Auslan and languages other than English on Council’s website.
- Facilitate the development of an online portal giving residents better information on community transport and shared vehicle options.
Make Brisbane one of the world’s great walking and wheeling cities.
- Provide enhancements to pedestrian crossings so that they are more accessible to people with disabilities and seniors.
- Facilitate enhanced access to city streets through possible initiatives such as free hire of mobility devices at South Bank to complement the City Hall Mobility Centre.
- Partner with community organisations to provide walking and wheeling tours for people with different sensory needs, so that they are able to build their confidence in experiencing the city.
- Partner with businesses to provide opportunities for greater use of electric and three-wheel accessible bikes by older people and people with disability.
Support safe road travel
- Partner with the community to investigate opportunities for improved rideshare set-down areas on public roads.
- Provide extended Council Cabs services to key Council facilities.
Council will provide Brisbane Metro, a new public transport service on the busway, incorporating a fleet of high-capacity, fully accessible metro vehicles, more accessible stations and on-board wayfinding.
In addition to this, Council will enhance access to and along the Brisbane River, so everyone can access recreational watercraft and enjoy the river.
Council will continue working to ensure ferries and buses, ferry terminals and bus stops meet the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 and are accessible to everyone, while expanding the way information is provided at community meetings on how to use public transport. On-board campaigns will also aim to encourage patrons to prioritise seating for people with a mobility impairment and services will be implemented to allow vision-impaired passengers to alert bus drivers to pick them up at determined stops. The exploration of accessible transport to new destinations such as Mt Coot-tha will continue to be part of Council’s focus.
Council will maintain the provision of accessible parking spaces around the city and kerb ramps at key loading and set-down zones. Council will partner with commercial providers to provide pay-by-app technology for on-street and off-street parking payments. Improved parking opportunities for seniors, people with disability and their carers will continue through discounted residential parking permit fees for eligible pensioners, special visitor parking permits for carers and registered health care professionals.
Council will continue to improve walking and cycling networks, deliver walking programs, provide shade and street furniture so people with mobility limitations can rest on their journey, and produce braille trails and tactile street signs. Accessible pathways to and around public toilets, schools, major shopping centres, public transport stops, community facilities and open spaces will continue to be installed. Cheaper dog registration fees for people on disability support pensions, drinking bowls for companion animals, funding of the City Hall Mobility Centre and up-to-date information on new and altered pedestrian routes will all be provided as part of Council’s ongoing business.