By Kyra Gillespie
Victorians are on track to experience more comfort on public transport thanks to the input of a few locals.
Members from Pakenham Arthritis Self-Help Group were invited to put their two cents in about Metro’s latest high capacity trains.
Lynnette McCullough, Betty Koopman and Tony Troon visited a “highly secretive” location in Melbourne’s South-East to view the new trains on two separate occasions: the first was to propose their ideas, and the second was to see the recommended changes.
The viewing was part of the High Capacity Metro Trains Project, which has been running a year-long consultation program to get the train design right.
Key accessibility groups, passenger groups, train drivers and technical experts have been involved, and a full-scale model train was created for real-world testing.
“It was very pleasing to be able to have input on behalf of all people living with a disability within our community,” Ms McCullough said.
Among the recommendations were lowered hand grips and more places for standing passengers to hold on to.
“Over the last few months, these groups have been evaluating the train model and providing feedback that will inform the final train design,” Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said.
“In-depth stakeholder consultation and testing like this are vital to creating an inclusive public transport network.
“The train’s design will be finalised in the coming months and, thanks to all participants, giving their time and experience, will reflect important stakeholder feedback.”
Once complete the depot in Pakenham East will provide maintenance facilities for Melbourne’s new fleet of High Capacity Metro Trains, a stabling yard for 30 trains and a high-tech driver-training simulator.
The Pakenham Arthritis Self-Help Group has four warm water exercise sessions a week and one chair-based session a week.
They also run an array of special events throughout the year.
For more information, contact Lynnette on 0438347222 or Anne on 0438413622.