In May 2015, Brisbane City Council decommissioned the last of its non-accessible public buses from service.[1]  This remarkable milestone of providing ramped and low-floor access across an entire bus fleet was reached an impressive seven-and-a-half years earlier than as required under the federal Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (‘DSAPT’).

In addition to actual buses, though, the DSAPT also requires the upgrade of public bus stops across Australia to be accessible for people with a disability by the year 2022.  The DSAPT allocates responsibility for upgrading bus stops to service providers who, in practice, would variously include bodies such as local councils, State authorities, and – from time to time – private developers.

To bolster equal access for people with a disability to public bus services as a whole, the following three points should be considered for bus stops.

Accessible Locations and Connections: A bus stop is, naturally, just one point in an individual commuter’s journey.  Determining bus stop locations and connections should be much more than a mere technical exercise, but should involve community consultation on the part of providers to ascertain demands and aspirations for connections to key facilities as well as other bus routes or modes of transport.

Clearances and Gradients: Accessible bus stops need suitable boarding points and waiting areas.  This means that the pedestrian areas upon which a particular bus stop is located should be reasonably level, and have wide, clear paths of travel.

Accessible Information: To facilitate a safe and efficient journey, the provision of ample information in accessible formats via multiple media would be required.

[1] Atfield C 2015, ‘Brisbane City Council bus fleet 100 per cent disability compliant’,

Eden Fong