Make transport public, says group


By Chris Kearney

SYDNEY — Public transport here is inaccessible to almost 70,000 people who have a mobility handicap, according to Citizens for Accessible Public Transport (CAPT).

CAPT convener Ian Cooper told Green Left that all urban and country trains, government buses and most ferries are inaccessible to "anyone unsteady on their feet, the elderly, the visually impaired or those with some degree of mobility handicap".

Cooper said the Greiner government and preceding NSW governments have shown a total disregard for people with a mobility handicap in public transport planning.

In protest against this, CAPT recently demonstrated on Broadway, stopping traffic for 20 minutes as eight people in wheelchairs took over the road.

Cooper said CAPT is planning another similar demonstration soon. "We'll continue to take action until we get some sort of public commitment to make public transport accessible to people with mobility disability."

For many who cannot use public transport, taxis are the only alternative. But the cost of taxi fares is often prohibitive, said Cooper. "The difference between paying a bus fare and paying a taxi fare is horrendous."

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