Let’s talk: Why isn’t public transport safer for over 60s? 21



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Over-60s are being left behind at bus stops, whilst the number of injuries on board trams has spiked. These worrying examples have got us wondering… How could public transport be improved for seniors?

Transport experts at Monash University and Yarra Trams have recorded an increasing number of injuries on trams, with fears that carriages are more crowded and less stable.

The number of serious tram-related injuries jumped by a whopping 151%, with 47 separate incidents occurring last year alone. This included painful slips, trips and falls at tram platforms, whilst passengers board and disembark.

Transport experts are now being forced to consider optimising trams for older people. Graham Currie, Monash University’s Chair of Public Transport, thinks modern tram design is at fault.

“Modern trams have got very good acceleration rates and they’re bigger vehicles as well, which means that it’s hard for the driver to be aware of where everybody is in the tram”, he explained.

Meanwhile, Starts At Sixty has received reports that readers are frequently being left behind at bus stops. One SASer named Karen told us that, because she uses a walking frame, bus drivers often refuse to give her adequate time to board.

“I can be hailing a bus, waving my arms, and lucky if the bus driver stops for me”, Karen said. “Even if he does, I never have enough time to get safely into a seat before the bus lurches off again. It’s a surprise I haven’t lost my footing yet”.

Today Starts At Sixty wants your thoughts…

Should public transport be more mindful of passengers over 60? Have you encountered difficulties on buses, trains or trams?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Because most of the politicians in this country don’t use it and rely on what the mandarins tell them?

  2. Public transport system would be improved if all drivers were over 60. Then seniors would be shown more respect (lol – we’d be the only ones using it)

    1 REPLY
  3. The seats are very narrow, there are times you have nothing to keep you stable when standing, the drivers dont care if your safely onboard before jerking to take off, we cant move down the isle to find something to hold for security and often drivers dont care if you are safely on firm ground before taking off.

    3 REPLY
    • We dont have that problem here. The bus drivers always wait until we are seated. Our problem is more that some of the drivers like to have a chat with everyone which makes us late. 🙂

    • Ohh thats nice they must be courtious drivers.we are not allowed to speak to the drivers.do you live in the country?

  4. People using the designated disabled seats is my pet peeve. These days I just ask them to give up their seat.

  5. As a driver, i would encourage anyone left behind, that clearly signalled the bus, to report it. there are usually cameras all over these busses, and I know drivers who deliberately ignore passengers because they just can’t be bothered doing their job. the only way to stop it is to report it.

  6. Maybe some of the bus drivers who don’t stop should be reported & have to a customer service course. THANKYOU to all the great bus drivers who do their job properly. 🚎 💙 🚌 💚

  7. I never have a problem with our buses. Sometimes they are late, but that is because certain drivers like to have a chat as people get on – large city transport is different to regional transport. I have heard though that the bus companies can be fined if the buses are late so that may be a reason they dont stop. My only gripe with public transport is the trains from Sydney to where I live – 4 carriages packed at Central so anyone getting on at next stops have to stand.

  8. By not starting the bus in a jerky manner before we are seated. I don’t go on buses anymore after being thrown around a few times.

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