Karene Gavener - QBlogger
My name is Karene Gravener and I live in very sunny Townsville.
Townsville is a great city, with many beautiful places to visit, Reef HQ, The Strand, the Museum of Tropical Queensland... and for an eight-kilometre ferry ride, you can make it to Magnetic Island; a wonder all on its own.
Unfortunately, though, people with disabilities don't have the opportunity to enjoy this city in the way that others might. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of accessible and user-friendly transport. In my blog piece, I will focus, particularly on taxi services.
If I were to summarise the standard of service in Townsville I would say, it is a service with so much potential to assist those who need it, yet it lacks organisation, coordination, and consistency.
It is fair to say that the three issues that reflect this reality are:
- A lack of timely and convenient service provision
- Continual instances of individuals being charged incorrect fares for travel
- And a genuine lack of uniformity in communication between call centres and drivers concerning the service towards people with disabilities.
I have seen recently in news coverage that a branch of black and white cabs has commenced operation in Townsville. It was clear in the interview that one of their goals is to provide comprehensive and timely service to people with disabilities. Let's hope so! for far too long the experience of people with disabilities has been the exact opposite. So many stories have been shared over the years from being left for more than 1 hour waiting for transport to arrive or being forgotten altogether. Consequently, people with disabilities have been left in dangerous situations, particularly at night or they have missed out on events that mean so much to them, which is completely unacceptable. The future for transport may become brighter and I guess, should I say watch this space? Until my next blog. Bye bye!