Enhancing the travel experience of people with a disability

This Sunday, 3 December is International Day of Persons with Disabilities – an opportunity to promote community awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability.

At Newcastle Transport, we envision a network that is inclusive and accessible for all. We know people depend on public transport to get to work, education and social activities and that public transport plays an important part in reducing social isolation and enabling full participation in life.

In recognition of International Day of Persons with a Disabilities, here are a few ways we are enhancing the travel experience and improving accessibility for people with a disability.


1. Travel Experience Days

Each year, we offer free Travel Experience Days to help customers become more familiar with public transport. Customers can practice getting on and off our accessible trams, buses and ferry in a static situation, and have a chat to customer service officers who can offer tips and tricks for travelling safely.

Interested in attending one of these sessions? Get in touch.

Travel Experience Day


2. Guide Dogs Fleet Familiarisation Training

Newcastle Transport is proud to partner with Guide Dogs Australia to provide fleet familiarisation training – an exercise that helps vision impaired people use public transport safely.  Customer Service Officers work with Guide Dogs Orientation specialists to provide a one-on-one session with customers, showing them the accessible features onboard, where to sit, how to use the opal reader and how to safely board and alight with a guide dog.

Guide Dogs Fleet Familiarisation Training at Newcastle Transport


3. Digital E-ink bus stops

Catching a bus has never been easier, with digital ‘e-ink’ bus stops in the Newcastle Transport network. These intelligent signs run on solar power and replace traditional bus stop paper timetables. These are at key locations in the Newcastle CBD, University of Newcastle and Charlestown.

These digital bus stops provide information in real time about bus routes, arrival times, service changes and disruptions, plus other travel advice at key bus stops. The ‘e-ink’ bus stops at Pearson Street Charlestown are also fitted with speakers so vision impaired customers can hear the next service information.

E-ink digital bus stop Charlestown Square


4. Our fully accessible fleet

When you travel on our multimodal network, you can be assured that our bus, light rail and ferry services are all accessible. Most mobility aids such as wheelchairs, motorised wheelchairs, walking frames, prams and strollers can safely board our fleet, and approved assistance animals are allowed to travel with you. Specifications apply to mobility aids for each mode. Visit Mobility aid specifications | transportnsw.info to find out more.

To learn more about the features of our buses, light rail and ferry, check out the playlist below.


5. Staff training

We know it can be tricky to board public transport when you need a little extra help. Our staff undergo accessibility and diversity awareness training to ensure they assist passengers with confidence and respect. This training covers everything from the use of emergency ramps on low-floor trams, to the challenges faced by people with disability when using public transport. If you need any help on one of our services, just ask our friendly team!

Newcastle Transport On Demand service