One of the major barriers to independence and social participation for residents who are older, frail or younger and disabled is access to transport. Public transport may not be easily negotiable or within a convenient distance of your home and taxis can be costly or difficult to arrange. We understand also that although you may still drive, there are some destinations you may be less confident about travelling to, because of traffic or parking problems or difficulties with navigation. Family and friends can often assist but this also is not always an ideal solution.
Community transport is a means of filling the service gaps unable to be met by conventional public and private transport options. In addition to responding to the needs of the transport disadvantaged, community transport offers benefits such as personalised service, the convenience of door to door pickup and delivery of passengers, reliability and punctuality. Users of our community transport services consistently remark that the service encourages a real sense of community and belonging and helps establish social bonds and friendships among users.
The City of Mitcham’s Community Transport service is available to eligible local residents who are older and frail or younger with a disability and are transport disadvantaged. The program is administered by PACC Coordinators and run by volunteers, or in some cases by Council approved contractors. In addition to shopping essential to the wellbeing of residents the Community Bus visits libraries and Personal Transport is available for medical and health care appointments.
Read on for details of our Community Transport services
The Community Bus is a door-to-door service that operates across the Mitcham Council area. It is funded by Mitcham Council and HACC. As well as providing services for HACC eligible residents, it can accommodate residents who live independently and are transport disadvantaged. Volunteers drive the buses and assist passengers with carrying shopping and entering and alighting from the buses. All our Community Bus volunteers are fully accredited, trained and have a good appreciation of the needs of older passengers. The City of Mitcham has two Community Buses, each seating up to 18 passengers. Our newest Community Buses came into operation in May and July 2013 and are pictured below. All buses have a low step for ease of access and one has wheelchair access.
The Community Buses provide a weekly shopping service to Blackwood, Mitcham, Pasadena and Castle Plaza Shopping Centres. They also travel monthly to Westfield Marion and the Central Market and provide a monthly service to the Blackwood and Mitcham Libraries, so residents can select their own books and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Staff and volunteers are available in the libraries on these days to assist Community Bus passengers with locating and selecting books.
Regular passengers find that travelling on the Community Bus is a pleasant outing and an opportunity to socialise with fellow residents. A gold coin donation is requested.
Click here for the Community Bus Timetable.
Booking a seat on the Community Bus
You or your carer can register for community bus services by phoning the Community Transport Coordinator on 8374 7791. The Coordinator will assess your transport needs and match them as closely as possible to the services available. Once registered, you can book your service (we request a minimum of two days in advance), or make regular bookings for your weekly transport needs of up to two journeys per week. For example, you may book one trip to your local shopping centre and another to your local library.
Travel on the Community Bus
Instructions and directions of the bus driver and volunteer helper must be followed at all times.
The Personal Transport service is available to residents of Mitcham who are older and frail or younger with a disability and have difficulty accessing public transport or other means of transport. It is primarily designed to assist with travel to medical or therapy appointments or to do essential shopping. The service also includes the carers of eligible residents. We have a dedicated team of volunteers who provide transport by private vehicle. Residents are picked up from their homes and taken to their required destination* and then back home again. Volunteers are fully trained and their vehicles are required to conform to Council specifications. As this is a personalised service, we take care to match our volunteers with residents as far as possible. In some circumstances Council approved contractors or approved taxi providers can supplement volunteer availability.
Assisted shopping trips can be arranged for eligible residents where the volunteer or contractor will provide assistance at the shopping centre as well as with transport. In cases where the resident is unable to leave home, arrangements can be made for a volunteer or contractor to collect a shopping list and carry out the required shopping on the resident’s behalf.
It is generally expected that the destination will be within or in close proximity to the Mitcham Council area. In cases where the destination is well beyond this or parking is challenging, for example to some hospital outpatient departments, our volunteers or contractors can transport you one-way (thereby ensuring you arrive at your appointment on time), provided you are happy to use a taxi or make other arrangements for the return trip. If needed we can assist with a taxi trip home.
Fees per person (no charge to carers who accompany residents)
Using Personal Transport Services
To ensure the availability of the service to as many eligible residents as possible, and the safety and security of passengers and drivers, the following applies:
- Use of this service is usually fortnightly trips or up to 26 trips per year unless negotiated otherwise. We can however accommodate short term weekly transport where someone has a special need, for example is recovering from surgery and requires more frequent medical visits.
- A maximum of three passengers per car is allowed for accompanying residents or carers.
- We ask that you provide at least three working days notice of your appointment.
- Volunteers, taxi drivers or contractors can provide low level assistance. If a higher level of support is appropriate, our Coordinators can refer you to another provider.
Making a booking for personal transport
For more information and to determine your eligibility for personal transport, please phone the Personal Transport Coordinator on 8374 7724.
PACC General Contact Details
|Contact Phone Number||8372 8888|