Bus trips under threat?

A 55-year old CPSA member on the Disability Support Pension was used to going on bus trips organised by her CPSA branch. The bus trips were organised through a local community transport provider. The community transport provider told this member that it was unable to carry passengers younger than 65 under the terms of their contract with Transport for NSW.

The Community Transport Program Services Schedule published on the Transport for NSW website makes no mention of an age limit for passengers. However, to become eligible for community transport you have to apply under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and the minimum age for CHSP is 65.

The 55-year old CPSA member could not apply under the CHSP because she was under the minimum age.

What is worrying is that there are a number of reasons people who are used to going on community transport might all of a sudden find they are banned.

If you have an NDIS package which includes funding for transport, you may find yourself unable to use community transport, because many community transport providers don't have the accreditation required by the NDIS to be able to take passengers with a disability.

If your CHSP package includes a component for transport other than community transport, community transport providers can knock you back.

If you are on a Home Care Package (HCP), you're simply not eligible according to the Services Schedule on the Transport for NSW website.

CPSA branches which organise bus trips (and any other groups doing the same) need to contact their community transport providers to find out what are the plans of these providers.

In the case of the CPSA member a creative solution was found.