Pat Downey wants Busways to provide a bus with a drop down step

Better access: A Lourdes Village resident wants Busways to provide a bus with a drop down step for better access for older customers.
Better access: A Lourdes Village resident wants Busways to provide a bus with a drop down step for better access for older customers.

Access to suitable transport can have major repercussions on the lives of residents, particularly the elderly.

In some instances, when that access is restricted, the elderly can feel isolated and lacking in social connections.

A resident of Lourdes Village has raised her concerns about the existing Busways bus service to her home.

Pat Downey says the service would be better supported if Busways would look to upgrade its bus fleet to suit the needs of residents.

Specifically, she says, Busways should incorporate a bus service which features a low level floor.

"As it currently stands, many of my neighbours and friends here in the village cannot access the bus because the step is too high," she said.

"Many of us would patronise the service more, but we simply cannot step up onto the existing platform. We are more likely to scrape our legs on the steps, simply because they are too high.

"We are calling on Busways to consider addressing this issue.

"I think more people - and not just residents at Lourdes - would support Busways' bus services, particularly the elderly or people with mobility issues, if there was a suitable bus with a drop down platform."

Busways currently operates a mini bus for route services 327 and 329, a spokesperson said.

"Due to narrow roads, there are restrictions on the size of bus that can effectively operate inside the village," the spokesperson said.

"Busways does not currently have a low floor mini-bus in our fleet, so this vehicle is the only suitable option.

"We encourage the residents at the village to get in touch with our customer service team so we can take their feedback into consideration for future service planning. 

We encourage the residents at the village to get in touch with our customer service team so we can take their feedback into consideration for future service planning.

Busways

"This process is set-up to ensure customer needs are identified, options investigated and where feasible, applications for government funding can be placed.

"In this case, more information from the residents will assist us to explore alternative solutions for vehicle accessibility on these routes."

Catholic Care of the Aged operates Lourdes Village.

CCA general manager Bronwyn Chalker says access is an important issue for its residents.

"Access to public transport for our residents is an important issue, especially for those with mobility concerns," she said. 

"When access to public transport is restricted, it impacts our residents’ ability to interact socially and complete essential tasks such as medical visits. 

"CCA supports any upgrade of public transport that would enable our residents to get around the community more easily.”

Mrs Downey said she would start the process of contacting Busways through Lourdes Village.

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