Thursday, January 13, 2011

young people and public transport - the disadvantage continues

It's been interesting to read Mind the Gap, a recent report released by VCOSS about transport needs and issues for young people on the urban fringe of Melbourne.

The report confirms what we hear as a council about the sorts of issues young people constantly face by not having adequate access to good quality public transport.

Key findings from the report include:
lack of or irregularity of services
lack of information about timetables or cancellations
safety fears, particularly at unstaffed train stations and taxi ranks
poor amenities such as lack of clean well lit bus shelters, difficulty using services with prams, bicycles and/or large school bags
lack of user friendly walking and cycling paths
lack of access to community transport options

I constantly hear stories of young people who can't access jobs, education and social occassions due to our poorly connected and infrequent public transport services. We already know that Yarra Ranges is over reliant on cars for transport and if you don't have a car or access to a car your transport options are very limited.

I'll continue highlighting these issues to our new government as the Chairperson of the Eastern Transport Coalition. There's also a role council can play in providing infrastructure to help people get around. It's important that our public transport services meet the needs of all sectors of our community and young people are particularly disadvantaged because they are often limited to public transport as their only way to travel around Yarra Ranges.

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