31 January 2017 – Using public transport can be a daunting experience for people with disabilities but a “Have a Go Day” at Melling Station in Lower Hutt on Saturday February 11 should go a long way towards making travelling easier.
The initiative is the idea of My Life My Way*, a collaboration of disabled people, their families, organisations and other community members from the Hutt Valley.
Community programme manager Julia Balsillie said the group wanted to improve transport in the Hutt Valley for people with disabilities.
“We are working to ensure disabled people can use transport to get anywhere, at any time. We want to make travel comfortable and easy for everyone in our community.”
The event, supported by the Greater Wellington Regional Council, Transdev, NZ Bus and Hutt City Council, aims to help remove some of the barriers to using public transport.
“We know that some people with disabilities – and that’s about a quarter of our population – lack confidence, are nervous, don’t know about accessibility features or have had previous bad experiences,” said Balsillie.
The event will enable people to try out the options, learn about the accessibility features such as hoists, voice announcements and ramps.
“By having the service providers there, people can ask questions and talk about their worries,” she said.
It is not only people with impairments who are welcome to attend; it is anyone else unsure about public transport.
“So that includes older people and parents with children who would like to have a go without the pressures of timetables.”
Parking is free; there will be a barbecue, coffee cart and giveaways. Free shuttles will leave from Wainuiomata Library at 10 and 11am, calling in at Queensgate about 20 minutes later and return from Melling Station at 11.35am and 12.35pm.
*My Life My Way supported by Life Unlimited a charitable trust offering health and disability services, advice and equipment so you can live the life you choose.