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Department of Transport and Main Roads

Accessible public transport standards

Everyone in our community has the right to use public transport.

The Australian government’s Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards) were developed to make public transport accessible.

The Transport Standards recognise that access to public transport enables people with disability, their families and their carers to fully participate in community life and also benefits many older Australians and parents with infants in prams.

The Australian government’s Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (the Act) seeks to eliminate discrimination against people with disability. The Transport Standards explain the obligations of transport operators and providers under the Act.

For information about accessible public transport services, visit the Translink website.

What do the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport do?

The Transport Standards establish minimum accessibility requirements to be met by providers and operators of public transport conveyances, infrastructure and premises. The Transport Standards take into account the range of disability covered by the Disability Discrimination Act and apply to most public transport.

The standards set out requirements in relation to issues, such as (but not limited to):

  • access paths
  • manoeuvring areas
  • ramps
  • boarding devices
  • allocated spaces
  • handrails
  • doorways
  • controls
  • symbols
  • signs
  • payment of fares.

All conveyances, premises and infrastructure brought into use for public transport after the commencement of the Transport Standards must fully comply with the Transport Standards. A compliance timetable allows between 5 to 30 years for existing facilities to be made compliant.

The Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport Guidelines 2004 (No 3) accompany the Transport Standards. The aim of the guidelines is to assist in understanding and interpreting the Transport Standards.

For more general information and to assist transport providers with compliance requirements of the standards, please refer to the following publications:

Last updated 21 November 2022