Engineering, Environment and Sustainability, Freight Rail, Passenger Rail

Transport accessibility committee gets two-year extension

Level crossing in Melbourne. Photo: RailGallery.com.au

The Victorian government has extended the Public Transport Access Committee (PTAC) for another two years, providing advice on major infrastructure projects such as the Metro Tunnel and level crossing removals.

The current 11-member committee had been established in 2016 and was initially appointed for 12 months.

The PTAC works with the government and Public Transport Victoria, providing advice on making public transport more accessible for those with a disability, older persons, and other vulnerable groups.

“We’re making sure that accessibility remains at the forefront of our thinking about every new station, stop, train and tram that we introduce to our public transport network,” state transport minister Jacinta Allan said, announcing the committee’s extension.

“The Public Transport Access Committee has provided the valuable insight in its first year and we need to make sure our transformation of the public transport network will take all Victorians with us.”

The tasks of the committee include identifying current and emerging transport accessibility issues for those with disability or mobility issues, consultation with organisations and agencies representing those groups, and providing strategic advice for public transport projects,

This includes input on the design of transport infrastructure. For instance, the PTAC will be involved in advising on the designs for the new High Capacity Metro Trains.

The government states that the new contracts with Metro Trains and Yarra Trams announced earlier in the week put a greater focus on accessibility needs, and the PTAC is to be involved in an annual review of each of the operator’s Accessibility Implementation Plan.

The 11-member panel is made up of a broad cross-section of people with experience and knowledge regarding disability and mobility issues, and includes direct experience of living with a disability, through to community advocates, social workers and community transport coordinators.

The Chair of the PTAC, Chris Stewart said the committee was pleased to have received an extension to their work.

“The Committee is looking forward to another 24 months of advocating for accessibility to make sure everybody can get on board with our public transport network, now and into the future.”