Passengers left stranded

The lift will shut for six months on November 24 and with no alternate access except stairs, it will force people with disabilities to make alternative plans.

Women with Disabilities Western Australia co-ordinator Rayner Lamb said she felt disregarded by the PTA, which issued a statement calling for people with disabilities to make other plans.

Ms Lamb said the PTA needed to realise the effect it would have on her and the lives of others.

‘They can’t say ‘find other options’ when they know perfectly well that public transport was our option,’ she said.

‘What that really means is that they haven’t taken our needs into consideration, they’re assuming we’ve got the same options as able bodied people; we don’t.’

Ms Lamb said a round trip from Stirling to Subiaco would cost her $3 but the same journey in a taxi would cost $15.

She said buses also posed a safety risk to people in wheelchairs, with nothing to tie their chair to the floor.

Self Advocacy and Peer Support WA representative Samantha Jenkinson called for the PTA to install more ramps at stations.

‘People with disabilities always plan ahead, yet the barriers put in place by infrastructure like this means our planning has to be elaborate just to simply get from one place to another,’ she said.

‘The PTA have not planned ahead on how this is impacting its most vulnerable customers.

‘We know there is often waiting times for accessible taxis, especially at peak hours, we know that not all buses are accessible, and now the train will not be an option for six months.’

PTA spokesman David Hynes said the authority would do everything it could to minimise disruption to passengers.

‘While we make every effort to minimise disruption to our passengers, there is simply no way to replace lifts or escalators without closing them temporarily,’ he said. ‘A ramp could not have been built at this location because it would exceed the maximum length dictated in the Disability Discrimination Act.’