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Public transport options for people with disabilities

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Access to public transport is essential for people with a disability. Accessible public transport can contribute to social and economic participation and general wellbeing. So what do public transport operators across the country offer to Australians with a disability?

The Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport came into effect in 2002. These standards outline the minimum requirements that public transport providers and operators must meet. Some barriers to access remain, including inaccessible timetables and lack of clear signage. However, many public transport operators now provide passes and cards that provide free or reduced fare travel. Read on to learn more.

Victoria Public Transport Options for Passengers with Disabilities

Public Transport Victoria, or PTV, has a range of travel passes available to passengers with disabilities.

The Access Travel pass is available to those who have a permanent physical disability, cognitive condition or mental illness who can travel independently but are unable to touch on or off.

The Access Travel Pass provides free travel for services operated by PTV, including:

  • metro trains, trams and buses
  • V/Line trains and buses
  • Regional town buses
  • Other regional services provided by PTV

If you are ineligible for the Access Travel Pass, PTV also provides Scooter and Wheelchair Travel Passes, Travel Trainer Passes, Vision Impaired Travel Passes, Animal Assistance Passes and passes for Companions or Carers.

In addition, recipients of the disability support pension or carer payment can travel for free on weekends.

Find the full range of available passes and application forms on the PTV website.

ACT Public Transport Options for Passengers with Disabilities

Transport Canberra provides free travel on all regular route services for those entitled to the Vision Impaired Travel Pass. The pass also provides for an attendant to travel for free. In addition, Transport Canberra recognises Companion Cards issued by the Department of Disability, Housing, and Community Services that provide free travel to eligible companions.

As well as the above, Transport Canberra also operates a flexible bus service for people with mobility difficulty.

For more information, visit the Transport Canberra website. 

New South Wales Public Transport Options for Passengers with Disabilities

Transport NSW offers a Vision Impaired Person’s Card. This card provides free travel on public transport as well as Assistance Animal Permits. In addition, Transport NSW offers free travel to companions via the NSW Companion Card.

More information about accessible travel in NSW can be found on the Transport NSW website. Alongside advice on travelling with mobility aids and assistance animals, Transport NSW also provides advice and information about planning and accessible trip.

Queensland Public Transport Options for Passengers with Disabilities

Queensland’s TransLink provides an Access Pass for passengers with a permanent or intellectual disability who can travel independently but cannot use the go card. The Access Pass provides free and unlimited travel on all bus, train, ferry and tram service operated by South East Queensland TransLink. The Access Pass cannot be used on the Airtrain.

TransLink also provides Vision Impairment Travel Passes, Assistance Animal Passes, Travel Trainer cards and Student Special Program Pass for students with disabilities.

More information and applications forms can be found on the TransLink website. And information on the accessibility of TransLink’s various services can be found on their website.

Accessible Public Transport

Northern Territory Public Transport Options for Passengers with Disabilities

The Northern Territory bus network, which includes bus services in Darwin and Alice Springs, provides free travel for those eligible for a Vision Impaired Travel Pass. Free travel is also offered to Companion Card holders and their companions. In addition, travel is free for people with significant permanent disabilities who cannot use the ticketing system. Holders of Carers Cards are eligible for concession fares.

For more information about fares and free travel in Northern Territory, visit the NT government website.

Western Australia Public Transport Options for Passengers with Disabilities

Transperth provides discounted or reduced fare travel for recipients of Carer or Disability Support Pensions via the Pensioner SmartRider Card. Travel is free outside of peak times and a concession fare is charged during peak times. In addition, Transperth does offer, at their discretion, free unrestricted travel to people with a physical or intellectual impairment who are unable to use the public transport system. Transperth also offers Vision Impaired Travel Passes that provide free travel for people with a vision impairment. The Vision Impairment Passes also provide for free travel for a carer or companion.

For more information about fares and passes, visit the Transperth website

South Australia Public Transport Options for Passengers with Disabilities

Adelaide Metro issues passes that provide free travel on all buses, trains and trams to people with physical or cognitive impairments that are unable to use the metrocard system. In addition, Adelaide Metro offers unlimited free travel to holders of a Vision Impaired Travel Pass.

For more information on Adelaide Metro and the service and passes offered, visit the South Australian government website. 

Tasmania Public Transport Options for Passengers with Disabilities

In Tasmania, holders of a Vision Impaired Travel Pass received discounted travel on approved transport. The Pass also provides for discounted travel for an attendant or carer.

For more information visit the Tasmanian Government’s website. 

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