Return to the Brisbane Access and Inclusion page.
Table of contents
- Lord Mayor's introduction
- Executive summary
- Our shared vision for Brisbane
- A profile of people who benefit from better access and inclusion in Brisbane
- Council's history of access and inclusion initiatives
- Reflection on Council's changing approach to access and inclusion
- How this plan was developed
- Implementation, monitoring and reporting
- An innovative local government role
TransLink Transit Authority (TTA) is the Queensland Government statutory authority responsible for the management of South East Queensland's public transport system including: planning routes and services; fares and ticketing; information, timetables, journey planner and customer feedback; train stations; and busways and busway stations.
Council has several roles:
- we develop strategy, plan for public transport and make recommendations to TTA
- we own Brisbane Transport, the major provider of bus services, operating the second largest fleet in Australia with more than 1100 buses
- we design, build and maintain local bus stops and shelters
- we own and manage the ferry services on the Brisbane River
- we own and lease ferry terminals, and are designing and building new and upgraded ferry terminals along the river
There are many other private bus and public transport operators who provide services in the City of Brisbane under contract with TTA.
Queensland Rail owns and manages Brisbane's suburban train network.
The Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (DSAPT) provide detailed guidelines and time-bound accessibility targets for providers of public transport services including both infrastructure (bus stops, ferry terminals, etc) and conveyances (in our case buses, CityCats and ferries). Council must meet these DSAPT compliance targets: 25% by 2007, 55% by 2012, 90% by 2017 and 100% by 2022.
Where we are
We are on track to meet DSAPT targets.
- 864 buses out of a fleet of 1117 (77.4%) operated by Brisbane Transport are compliant with DSAPT, already exceeding the 55% target for December 2012
- 2477 bus stops out of 6559 (38%) are estimated to at least partially comply with DSAPT. An audit is required to accurately determine the current level of compliance with the detailed requirements. Council has allocated $2 million in 2010/11 to ensure the upgrading of bus stops is on-track to meet DSAPT compliance targets
- Council's 19 CityCats will be fully DSAPT compliant by December 2012, while the nine monohull ferries (CityFerries) require modification and will be only partially compliant by this date. As a result, the total fleet of 28 vessels will be 68% compliant by the end of 2012
- the exact level of compliance of the 23 terminals used for ferry services (including three privately owned terminals) has not been specifically measured as yet; it is challenging to do so on a tidal river with some steep riverbanks. Following the flood disaster of January 2011, a number of the ferry terminals were extensively damaged. The upgrade of terminals to meet DSAPT compliance specifications will continue as funding following the recovery becomes available
Our public transport infrastructure is built to carefully designed specifications published as Brisbane City Council Standard Drawings. Few other local authorities have bus stop technical drawings and ours currently provide national guidance referenced in DSAPT.
Brisbane Transport is committed to ensuring that our bus operators are aware of their obligations and have the knowledge and skills to support customers who require assistance in accessing services. Our bus operators undertake nationally accredited induction and in-service training with an emphasis on understanding and supporting passengers who have disabilities. Similarly, our contracted ferry operator provides tailored training to ensure people with a disability are provided with personalised service.
Council also facilitates a subsidised Council Cabs service that seniors and people with a disability can access for trips to the local shops, weekly in most Brisbane suburbs and twice a week in some areas.
Brisbane Transport also has a longstanding partnership with the House of Happiness, a charity that provides support for children with disabilities including a retreat centre on Bribie Island. It started with a Council tram driver organising some friends to take children with polio to the Royal Brisbane Show (Ekka) in 1951. This ongoing commitment involves weekly donations by payroll deduction by over 500 bus drivers as well as events and fundraising, and continuing to provide bus rides to the Ekka.
Where we want to be
We want equitable access for Brisbane residents and visitors to high-quality public transport services with a modern fleet and a focus on customer service.
- Assess all Council owned public transport infrastructure to accurately determine current level of compliance with DSAPT.
- Achieve 55% compliance with DSAPT for bus and ferry fleet, ferry terminals and bus stops by 2012.
- Achieve 90% compliance with DSAPT by 2017.
- Ensure that bus and ferry operators provide aware, informed and skilled customer service.
- Respond to people's individual needs by scheduling accessible buses where we can, prioritising bus stop upgrades in response to requests and providing alternatives where appropriate and reasonable in the case of service disruptions or where regular services are not viable.
- Provide as far as possible water transit services that are accessible by ensuring all new ferry terminals and terminal upgrades achieve DSAPT compliance.
Existing initiatives that will continue
Procurement of accessible buses
We will continue to purchase low floor, accessible buses.
Upgrade of bus stops
We will continue to upgrade bus stops in Brisbane to include features such as level standing areas, tactile ground surface indicators and bus shelters. We will continue to plan bus stop upgrade works and to prioritise works in response to requests and required bus operation network changes. We will endeavour to link bus stops to accessible pathways and other accessible infrastructure e.g. public toilets. In response to community feedback we will inspect our bus stops and where possible relocate objects intruding into required circulation space at boarding points.
Bus operator induction and in-service training programs
Brisbane Transport will continue to conduct comprehensive training for its bus operators on their obligations to customers. Nationally recognised units of competency are completed by trainee bus operators as part of the ongoing development program, which is under continual review to ensure it addresses contemporary and emerging areas of need (for example instructing drivers to wait until passengers are seated before leaving the stop).
In response to community feedback we will review the content of our bus driver training to ensure the following topics are adequately covered: the importance of waiting for passengers to be seated; careful braking and cornering; looking out for obstacles before deploying the ramp; raising seats for passengers who cannot do it themselves; Companion Card ticketing; and understanding passengers with a diverse range of needs.
We will also encourage members of the public to tell us about their experiences with drivers who provide good service, so they can get appropriate recognition in the workplace.
CityCat operator training
Council will continue to require that staff on CityCat services are trained to respond to the needs of all passengers.
Passenger initiated bus allocation
In one-off instances where we know that a passenger needs a low floor, accessible bus at a particular bus stop at a particular time, Brisbane Transport will schedule an accessible bus onto that route and alert the driver provided there is at least 24 hours' notice.
Pick up for passengers with visual impairment (VIP)
Passengers with low vision can advise they will be waiting at a particular bus stop by calling Council's Contact Centre and the information will be passed on to alert the relevant driver to expect them.
We will continue the Council Cabs service, providing low cost shared taxis at scheduled times for residents who find it difficult to get from their home to their local shops and services.
Where regular services are disrupted (e.g. for refurbishment of stops or terminals), we will continue to respond to requests from people who are inconvenienced and seek to provide a viable alternative.
House of Happiness partnership
Brisbane Transport will continue to support the House of Happiness which provides respite and recreational activities for children with a disability.
Advocacy for accessible public transport
We will continue to advocate to Queensland Transport, TransLink and other authorities when we become aware of access issues in parts of the public transport network in Brisbane that are beyond our control.
Encouraging good practice in the public transport industry
We will continue to take a leadership role in public transport industry networks and forums, demonstrating good practice and encouraging other providers and industry partners in Brisbane to be proactive and innovative on access and inclusion issues.
New initiatives or extensions
- Review of standard design for bus stops. We will review Council's Standard Drawings for Standard Bus Stop with a view to specifying that an appropriate kerb is installed in front of the stop to allow deployment of a ramp at an appropriate grade and construct future stops to that standard.
- Disability Discrimination Act compliance of fleet and infrastructure. Council will upgrade ferry terminals and bus stops and replace monohull ferries with Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (DSAPT) compliant vessels to ensure public transport infrastructure and entire ferry fleet is accessible by 2022. Where possible, public transport infrastructure upgrade works will incorporate pathway connections to other transport modes (e.g. nearest drop-off point or bus stop).
- Audit of CityCat accessibility. We will commission an audit of the accessibility of our CityCat fleet.
- Researching better boarding gangplank design. We will review the performance of our boarding gangplanks on the new generation pontoons, and investigate the feasibility of a different design. Our aim is to select and trial preferred options and develop a schedule for installation on all pontoons.
- Restraints for mobility devices on buses. We will investigate the feasibility of different types of restraints on buses for wheelchairs and mobility devices.
- On-board passenger awareness campaign. We will create and run onboard advertising campaigns encouraging patience and respect between passengers.
- TransLink's 2012 trial of Real Time Information. We will review the findings of TransLink's 2012 trial of ‘Customer First' Real Time Information. If the findings are positive, we will work with TransLink to assess the feasibility of adopting the system across Council's fleet and infrastructure. In the meantime, we will continue to encourage CityCat deck hands (who leave the vessel and stand on the pontoon at every stop) to be proactive in initiating a brief, friendly conversation with passengers who look like they are unsure or might need assistance. We will also encourage passengers to initiate these interactions.