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

Over-60s are being left behind at bus stops, whilst the number of injuries on board trams has spiked. These worrying
New Zealand

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?

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