Travelling with confidence
On October 24th and 25th, an innovative project named “Try Before You Ride” arrived on platform one at Glanville Station in South Australia. This event, a collaboration between Feros Care and Keolis Downer (Adelaide Metro), marked a significant step towards inclusivity in public transport. It was specially designed to build confidence in people with disability, their carers, and community members about using train public transport.
The station buzzed with excitement and purpose, as over 75 participants, including VIP guests, embarked on the transformative experience. This event was a chance for hands-on learning, interacting with train crews, and gaining confidence in using public transport.
Attendees were taken through various features of the public transport system in Adelaide covering all the important aspects of travel including – how to buy tickets, how to board and alight from a train safely, what signs to look out for and where to find help or ask for directions. These hands-on experiences, combined with the valuable insights shared by the Passenger Service Assistants (PSAs), made the day not only educational but also enjoyable.
The feedback from attendees was incredibly positive, reflecting the event’s success in boosting confidence and comfort with train travel. For instance, one participant remarked in their post-session feedback, “Thank you very much for the ‘outing’ and learning experience today. It was great! As a reluctant train traveller, I am keen to take a trip sometime soon. Absolutely everyone was informative, patient and kind!!!!” Another participant expressed newfound comfort in planning a journey by train, highlighting the event’s impact on their independence and mobility.
Significantly, the surveys conducted before and after the sessions indicated a remarkable shift in attitudes. Initially, over half of the attendees felt uneasy about train travel. However, after the event, there was a unanimous increase in confidence, with 100% of the participants feeling more assured and appreciative of the train’s inclusive features.
The presence of notable figures such as Emily Bourke, the Assistant Minister for Autism, and Claire Boan, the Mayor of Port Adelaide Enfield, alongside the Feros Care executive team and Keolis Downer’s leadership, underscored the event’s importance. Their participation emphasised the collective commitment to enhancing the accessibility of public transport.
“Try Before You Ride” has set a precedent for future initiatives, proving that with proper support and information, apprehensions about public transport can turn into confidence and enthusiasm. This event was a significant step towards empowering individuals and enriching their lives with the freedom and independence that confident travel brings.
As we move forward, initiatives like “Try Before You Ride” will continue to play an important role through collaboration and community engagement in creating a more inclusive society. It’s a clear message that empathetic and thoughtful design in public transport can make a world of difference to people of all abilities.
At Feros Care, we value collaboration and community input. Our co-design principles ensure that we continue to listen to and incorporate diverse voices in our projects, creating solutions that truly resonate with those they’re meant to serve. To read more about our community projects, you can click here.