How transport companies are changing the game for Victorians with disability

Posted 1 month ago by Georgie Waters
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Car companies are helping members of the Multipurpose Taxi Program get where they need to be at a more affordable rate. [Source: Shutterstock]
Car companies are helping members of the Multipurpose Taxi Program get where they need to be at a more affordable rate. [Source: Shutterstock]

How can we make transport more accessible for people with disability?

Key points

  • While Disability Transport Standards are set to make travel easier for people with disability, public transport doesn’t always take you where you need to be
  • The Multipurpose Taxi Program is a transport subsidy for eligible passengers with severe and permanent disability in Victoria
  • One transport service, Get Picked Up Travel, offers high-quality comfort and care for its passengers and accepts Multipurpose Taxi Program cards and eligible NDIS funding

SPONSORED — Public transport can be challenging with changes in timetables, accessibility requirements and delays, especially for people living with disability.

Research suggests that using public transport causes difficulty for around 16 percent of Australians over the age of 15 with disability, according to information on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts website. In Australia, around 4.4 million people report living with disability, indicating that a significant number of people are affected by inaccessible public transport options.

With new reforms for the Disability Transport Standards recently announced by the government, the suggested improvements are expected to increase the accessibility of public transport for people with disability.

Public transport timetables and route updates will be provided in accessible formats and more audio announcements on public transport will make travel easier.

The government is looking to increase ‘the ratio of accessible taxi rank spaces available for use by wheelchair-accessible taxis.’ To read more, have a look at this article: Making public transport more accessible for people with disability.

However, public transport doesn’t always have stops close to every location, making it difficult for people with disability and accessibility requirements. Additionally, using public transport can be stressful, with the unknown availability of space and needing to get off at the right stop. 

The Multipurpose Taxi Program (MPTP), an initiative established by the Victorian Government, has provided subsidised travel since 1983 for eligible Victorians with permanent and severe disability. 

MPTP members ‘get 50 percent off the total fare, up to $60, with some restrictions,’ according to information on the Safe Transport Victoria website, current as of April 22, 2024.

To get more information about the Multipurpose Taxi Program and how to apply for your card, visit the Victorian Government website.

In addition to the MPTP, other transport funding is available for eligible NDIS participants, with up to $3,456 available for those who work or study at least 15 hours a week or are looking for work, according to information on the NDIS website.

Recently, the MPTP has been expanded to include pre-booked and ride-share car options so people with disability have an extended range of transport options available to them. Get Picked Up is one of these new providers. 

As the MPTP is already helping to provide reliable transport to NDIS participants, MPTP card holders can now use their MPTP subsidy and have the option to pay the remaining balance with their NDIS funding with Get Picked Up

With Get Picked Up, you can pre-book your car in advance, making it ideal for regular hospital visits, visiting friends in different suburbs, or getting transport to and from the airport. Their friendly and dependable drivers are equipped to offer extra assistance and the ‘punctuality promise’ ensures you will reach your destination on time, every time.

With Get Picked Up, clients can pick their favourite drivers, so when you meet a driver you like, you can personally request them for future trips, giving you and your family peace of mind, all at a cost comparable to a regular taxi. 

Victoria Mackey, from Get Picked Up, shared her passion for providing Victorians with disability equal access to safe and reliable car transport. 

“You don’t have to explain your disability every single time, over and over again because your driver knows you and your needs,” said Victoria.

“With other car companies, drivers often cancel their bookings and may not provide you with another option. With Get Picked Up, you have a hundred percent guarantee that we will pick you up. If something happens to the driver on the way, our drivers’ systems mean that we will automatically allocate another driver to you. We never leave our travellers stranded,” said Victoria.

Get Picked Up accepts all MPTP card holders. There is also the option to use NDIS funding to cover the remaining 50% cost, allowing you to get where you need to go with little, if any, out-of-pocket costs.

Booking a ride with Get Picked Up is easy and can be done via the website. 

If you don’t have access to a computer, you can also book through the app, email or phone GPU. To access the MPTP subsidy, you’ll need to have your MPTP card number available for booking.

What are you most looking forward to about using the Get Picked Up transport service? 

Let the team at Talking Disability know on social media. 

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