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Kinetic invests in enhanced accessibility in Melbourne

Kinetic has further invested in making life easier on buses for people with disabilities in Melbourne

The importance of public transport to people with disabilities is motivating Kinetic’s continued investment in Melbourne’s bus experience. 

Since 2022, Kinetic has run an Accessibility Reference Group (ARG) to guide its approach to creating a more accessible bus network for Victorians shortly after taking over the Metropolitan Bus Franchise (MBF). 

“The best advocates for people with disabilities are those who understand the value of working collaboratively, bringing in a diverse range of people to share their experiences and learn from one another,” Kinetic ARG member Tricia Malowney says. 

The ARG has welcomed a range of new investments in Kinetic’s second year operating metro bus services in Melbourne, including the appointment of a dedicated disability awareness trainer with lived experience. 

The initiative follows the implementation of the Sunflower Hidden Disabilities program and strengthens efforts to ensure drivers and Customer Service Officers (CSO) have the knowledge and skills to enhance the experience of people with disability. 

Kinetic has also invested in a dedicated state-of-the-art operations control centre (OCC) in North Melbourne. 

The operator says transport disruptions disproportionately affect people with disabilities and the facility is supported with a dedicated team, live CCTV feeds and on-road supervisors to better support network management and customer communication. 

Kinetic customer experience lead Justin Rogers says people with disabilities should enjoy the same experience travelling on bus services as other members of the community. 

“We’re taking deliberate steps to ensure our services are for everyone and can continue to connect people with disabilities to the community,” Rogers says. 

“One in five people have disabilities and they can experience significant barriers to using public transport. 

“We want to increase confidence travelling with us so people can connect to the things they want to do.” 

Kinetic’s second Accessibility Action Plan (AAP) 2024 and 2026 has also been launched to coincide with the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD). 

The plan outlines specific actions to continue to improve Melbourne’s bus experience and has been developed in consultation with people with lived experience of disabilities. 

It focuses on improving customer experience through enhanced communication, encouraging more people to feel safe and confident to travel, building capability to deliver an accessible and inclusive service, as well as encouraging change in the workplace. 

“Plans like this one are important because they serve as roadmaps that not only remove barriers but also contribute to creating a more inclusive and accessible public transport network,” Malowney says. 

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