Bus route change flagged as unfair

Bob Middlemiss and fellow residents are angry a change to bus route 15 will disadvantage the disabled and seniors.Picture: Andrew Ritchie         d441568
Bob Middlemiss and fellow residents are angry a change to bus route 15 will disadvantage the disabled and seniors.Picture: Andrew Ritchie        d441568

The Seniors and Disabled Bus Action Group 15 (SANDBAG 15) was formed in response to the Public Transport Authority�s (PTA) changes to bus route 15, which goes from the city to Glendalough.

Group member and bus rider Tad Krysiak said the group had taken action to mount a case against the PTA on the grounds of discrimination.

He said there were elderly people who lived on the corner of Leeder Street because of its close proximity to a bus stop who are now forced to negotiate the busy Harborne Street.

�This is not disadvantaging just one or two people but a whole group of elderly and disabled; we believe this is systemic,� he said.

�For school students, removal of the route from the inner suburban streets means that these young people would have to negotiate major traffic arteries, increasing the risk to their safety.�

Mr Krysiak said members met with an Equal Opportunity Commission representative last week.

PTA spokesman David Hynes said changes to bus routes were not made lightly, or for no reason. �In the case of route 15, patronage had been stagnant for some time, while community members had made multiple requests for a more direct service which extended to Glendalough Station,� he said.

�All existing route 15 passengers are within a reasonable walking distance of the re-routed service.

�Transperth undertook considerable community consultation before making the changes to Route 15. Of 244 responses, only 18 per cent opposed.�

Ms Hynes said concerns of some community members who lived near Leeder Street were addressed.

�Additional bus stops have been installed in Harborne Street to minimise the walk for these passengers,� he said.