Transport Access Program
Transport for NSW’s process for selecting and prioritising projects for the third stage of its Transport Access Program balanced compliance with national disability standards with broader customer outcomes. Demographics, deliverability and value for money were also considered.
However, Transport for NSW does not know the complete scope of work required for full compliance, limiting its ability to demonstrate that its approach is effective, according to a report released today by the Auditor-General for New South Wales, Margaret Crawford.
The Transport Access Program is Transport for NSW's largest program with a specific focus on improving access to public transport for people with disability. This includes installing lifts, paths and ramps at train stations and ferry wharves, improved signage and other measures to comply with national disability standards for accessible public transport. It has invested $1.2 billion in the first two stages of the program since 2011-12.
Transport for NSW has undertaken a phased approach to auditing compliance across the transport networks, with a focus on first assessing compliance at locations that are not wheelchair accessible.
'This creates two problems. First, Transport for NSW does not know the complete scope of work required to comply with the standards. Second, not all wheelchair accessible locations fully meet the standards', said the Auditor-General.
Transport for NSW has acknowledged that it will not achieve its obligation to be 100 per cent compliant with the standards by 2022.
The audit recommended that Transport for NSW publish a schedule of stations and wharves that it plans to upgrade as well as improving how it measures, and publicly reports on, accessibility outcomes for people with disability.
'Given the long timeframes associated with improving transport infrastructure, this information is important as it allows people to make informed decisions about where they live, and where they work or study'.
Barry Underwood, Director, Office of the Auditor-General, on 0403 073 664 and email firstname.lastname@example.org.