Accessibility Update - Q4 2014

3 March, 2015

Customer Information Initiatives

Following the successful trial of three customer information initiatives (tramTRACKER mini, and tramTRACKER screens at train stations, and remote PA systems - see Accessibility Update - Quarter 2 2014) in July 2014, we are pleased to announce that funding for these activities has now been approved for additional rollout across the network. Site inspections are underway to determine which train stations will receive the tramTRACKER Passenger Information Displays (PIDs), with priority given to those stations where there is connectivity with trains and trams.

The remote PA system will also be installed at a total of 40 major CBD tram stops.

tramTRACKER mini

tramTRACKER mini at stop 

Remote PA

Remote PA system at stop

Vehicle Passenger Information System (VPIS)

Funding to install an automated Vehicle Passenger Information System (VPIS) on all 130 B-Class trams has just been approved. The VPIS includes a LED screen that will display next stop information. This information will also be announced on the tram's loud speaker. B-Class trams will be fitted with this technology over the course of 2015/2016.

A trial of VPIS for C-Class trams was completed in October 2014. A proposal has been prepared and submitted to PTV.

Accessibility Week 2014

Accessibility Week was held from 1 to 5 December 2014. We held several events and activities to engage and educate staff and customers and highlight the importance of an accessible network. 220 Yarra Trams employees attended the various activities.

Mental Health Forums

Presented by 'Beryl the Bowler' (the alter ego of Kelly Parry), the mental health forums provided our employees with information on mental illness and how to recognise the behaviours and diffuse any difficult situations or confrontations. The sessions also covered how to recognise warning signs of mental health among family and friends.

Accessible Transport Race

Working with Vision Australia and Guide Dogs Victoria, Yarra Trams organised an accessible transport race on Tuesday 2 December, focused on visual impairment. 

Teams from Yarra Trams, Metro Trains and the Public Transport Ombudsman's office competed against each other, travelling between various Melbourne landmarks using public transport, while wearing glasses that simulate different visual impairments including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, tunnel vision and macular degeneration.

A debrief session was held after the race to discuss the experience. All groups highlighted the importance of driver's announcements. 

From 1 January 2015 a new driver's announcement program commenced which requires drivers to announce all stops within the CBD and major stops in the suburbs.

Disability Sport & Recreation Festival / Corporate wheelchair basketball competition

Continuing our 11 year partnership with Disability Sport & Recreation, Yarra Trams hosted a marquee at the Disability Sport & Recreation Festival at Federation Square on 'International Day for People with a Disability'. Yarra Trams employees at the marquee responded to queries about our network, and handed out promotional items.  As part of the festival a corporate wheelchair basketball competition was held with Mark Wild, CEO of Public Transport Victoria leading the Yarra Trams team in a match against Metro Trains.

Accessibility Week

'Try before you ride' at Box Hill Interchange

On Thursday 4 December, Yarra Trams partnered with Scope, BusVic and Metro Trains and organised a 'Try before you ride' event. A tram, train and bus were stabled at Box Hill Interchange from 10am to 1pm providing customers with special needs with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the vehicles and to practice boarding and alighting from our services without the stress of a 'live' environment. General accessibility information was provided to all participants, along with a promotional showbag.

The day was a huge success and we are hoping to continue this event later this year.

Tram familiarisation sessions

As part of Guide Dogs Victoria's 'Live Safe Travel Smart' program, a group of 16 clients and six Orientation and Mobility Specialists visited our Kew Depot in November. The visit to the depot included a presentation with safety tips for travelling on trams as well as a chance to familiarise themselves with the different classes of trams. Participants were able to practice boarding and alighting the trams, and familiarise themselves with the priority seating onboard.

These sessions are available for anyone who needs to return to using public transport after an injury, anyone with special needs or is using public transport for the first time. If you are interested in organising a session please contact the Yarra Trams customer feedback team on 1800 800 007 (6am-midnight daily) or complete the form online.

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