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Transport around your community and home

Last Updated at February 3rd 2021
Getting to medical or personal appointments, the shops or social events can be challenging if you don’t drive or have a car, and even more challenging if you have mobility issues.

Key Points:

  • If you have a Home Care Package or receive support through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme, you may be able to get subsidised transport

  • Your local Council could provide a range of transport options in their region, especially for elderly people or people with disability

  • If you hold a Pensioner Concession Card or Seniors Card, you can receive either cheaper or free public transport between certain times throughout the week

Older woman receiving assistance getting off community transport
​Each State and Territory provides different types of transport options for seniors, and there are nationwide initiatives available. [Source: iStock]

There may be times when friends, family and neighbours are unable to help out get around the community.

While transport can be part of a Government funded Home Care Package or the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), there is also a range of free or subsidised transport options available through a variety of outlets.

Community organisations

Some not-for-profit, charity, cultural and community groups provide free or low-cost transport assistance for older people.

Many local organisations also provide services, such as your local churches or some Rotary groups. Whereas St John Community Transport Services operates on a national level.

Some of these schemes are Government subsidised and staffed by volunteer drivers, however, you may have to pay a small contribution towards the scheme.

Otherwise, there are local operators available for hire to help with getting around your town or city which specifically cater for elderly people or those with mobility issues.

Local Councils

Depending on the State or Territory you live in, your local Council may provide different forms of transport.

Council community buses usually operate on a weekly basis with many offering the convenience of door to door pick up and drop-off.

Some community buses may take residents to shopping centres and many Council-run community buses visit other services and activities, such as libraries, senior's clubs and community groups.

There is usually a nominal minimal charge for using the community bus which may vary depending on where it is going.

Some Councils may offer personal transport for medical, wellbeing and other essential appointments.

Council transport programs are usually administered by a council-paid coordinator, with the driving service provided by volunteers.

In some instances, a Council will approve certain contractors or taxi companies to carry out the service.

There is usually a minimum charge for the service, and fees may vary depending on the distance you are travelling and whether you require a return journey.

Nationwide transport initiatives for seniors

Each State and Territory provides different types of transport options for seniors, and Federally there are nationwide initiatives that are available.

The Australian Government Pensioner Concession Card will give you access to cheaper public transport rates in most States and Territories.

For instance, in Victoria, your Concession Card makes you eligible for a 50 percent discount of public transport fares.

In Queensland, having a concession card allows you to use a Senior Go card for two paid journeys in one day, and free travel for the rest of the day.

Seniors Card is universally recognised in Australia but concessions can differ between each State and Territory.

For example, the South Australian Seniors Card allows all holders to use any public transport they wish with no charge during specific times throughout the week.

In New South Wales, Seniors Card holders receive free "off-peak" transport vouchers to their mailbox every year.

Another transport initiative available in most States and Territories is the taxi subsidy scheme, but similar to the Seniors Card, can differ between parts of Australia.

Queensland taxi subsidy scheme can help with getting to appointments, socialising and shopping trips, but only covers half of the taxi cost with a maximum of $25 per trip. This offer is similar to the Victorian multi-purpose taxi program.

The subsidy is only provided to the elderly with severe disabilities or physical disability requiring dependence on a wheelchair.

The Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS) in Queensland provides financial assistance for patients who are referred to specialist medical services not available at their local public hospital or health facility.

Depending on your State or Territory, the name of this program can differ but has similar principles.

Across Australia, you may be eligible for a Non-Emergency Medical Transport service, which transports you via ambulance to a medical facility for an appointment, depending on your State or Territory, this service could be free or requiring a fee.

To be eligible for non-emergency medical transport, you have to be either in need of stretcher transport, need active management of monitoring while travelling, have a condition that could be embarrassing or be a serious concern to other people on public transport.

To find out more about the transport options in your State or Territory contact the website or numbers below:

Visit the Queensland Government’s website for transport information or call 13 74 68.

Head to the Victorian transport concessions website or call 1300 650 172.

Visit the New South Wales website for more information about transport or call (02) 8202 2200.

In South Australia, visit its transport website or call 1800 819 961 for more Seniors Card information.

In the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), head to the Access Canberra website for more information or call 13 17 10.

The Department of State Growth handles the transport in Tasmania or call on 1300 135 513.

In the Northern Territory, visit the NT website or call 08 8999 5511 for the switch board.

Go to the Western Australia Transport website for more information, or call TransWA on 1300 662 205.

How do you get around your town or city? Tell us in the comments below.

Related content:

Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
ACAT/ACAS and Assessment
What is the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS)?

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