The Queensland Government has introduced an upgraded travel pass which will allow low vision and blind commuters to travel more independently on public transport.
The upgraded permanent go access Vision Impairment Travel Pass (VITP) is an electronic card that allows the holder to ‘touch on’ or ‘touch off’ to independently open the gates at train stations and still receive free travel on public transport where eligible.
Previously the card worked as a flash pass only and could not be used to independently open fare gates. A Queensland Rail staff member would need to open the gates for users at train stations.
Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the pass entitles the holder to free travel on all TransLink services, qconnect bus services in regional Queensland and on services provided by participating interstate public transport operators.
O’Rourke said the government had received positive feedback from existing VITP holders who participated in a six month trial of the go access VITP that ended in June 2015.
“The successful trial involved more than 40 participants and was undertaken in partnership with Vision Australia, Guide Dogs Queensland and Queensland Rail.
Vision Australia general manager Queensland, Karen Knight, said being able to control when you could enter or exit a train station without assistance supported people to retain their independence and encouraged greater public transport use.
“Vision Australia clients who have been involved in the trial have been very positive about the Travel Pass. We are very pleased that the government has announced the roll out of the Travel Pass for all members of our community,” Ms Knight said.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads will be writing to existing VITP holders to provide more information about the new product and advise on the process to request a go access VITP.
For full details, visit www.translink.com.au or phone 13 12 30.