Disabled factor into bus stop upgrades

By Paul Hemsley

Commuters with disabilities will have improved accessibility to bus stops following a project upgrade from the ACT Government.

The bus stop accessibility project for $1.395 million is meant to upgrade 300 bus stops across Canberra, with the first 75 already completed.

Chief Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Katy Gallagher said the first 75 bus stops to be upgraded have focused on the “rapid” public transport corridors where patronage is high.

“The recently released draft Transport for Canberra policy outlines a goal of getting 23 per cent of Canberrans to use public transport, walk or cycle to get to and from work by 2016,” Ms Gallagher said.

Ms Gallagher said the bus stop improvements complement the $75.5 million fleet replacement program which will see Canberra’s bus stop service, ACTION meet its interim 2012 Disability Discrimination Act requirements.

A spokesperson for the chief minister said the reason for the bus stop accessibility project is it will help the territory meet the requirements of the Disability Discriminiation Act and also assist people with disabilities using public transport.

“The project includes enlarging concrete waiting areas to cover, where possible, an area of three metres by five metres and improvements to connecting footpaths to assist wheelchair access,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the upgrades also include the installation of tactile ground surface indicators to assist the visually impaired.

In terms of contracting for project builders, there are currently five ACT civil contractors as it is a rolling program, the spokesperson said.

The procurement process for the project “was a select tender as per ACT Government procurement guidelines”.

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