There are 1485 bus stops in the Wollongong City Council area – and someone will have to visit all of them in the space of a few months.
From Helensburgh in the north through the Wollongong CBD and all the way down to Haywards Bay in the south, each and every bus stop will need to be checked.
Council has put out a tender for an audit of all bus stops in the Local Government Area (LGA) and gauge whether they comply with the requirements of the Australian Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport.
The successful tender will need to assess whether the stop has a footpath that is too small, kerb and guttering, and check whether obstructions like power poles or trees may be in the way of the bus doors and stop people boarding.
A council spokeswoman said the audit was part of a commitment to its Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2016-2020 that the body signed off on back in 2016.
“We’ve already introduced measures into our events such as New Year’s Eve and Australia Day to improve accessibility – such as dedicated accessible areas for viewing the annual fireworks displays,” the council spokeswoman said.
“As we developed this plan we consulted with people with a disability, their families and carers and one of their key needs was to enable them to move around the city independently.
“To support this we are now carrying out an audit of bus stops and shelters.”
The successful tender will have to visit each of the 1485 bus stops in the Wollongong LGA – a task they’ll have just three months to complete.
The successful tender will have to visit each of the 1485 bus stops in the Wollongong LGA.
They will also have to prepare a schedule of works for those bus stops that don’t make the grade.
“Once we have the feedback from the audit we will develop a list of any bus stops that aren’t compliant,” the Wollongong City Council spokeswoman said.
“From there, we’ll look at ways to make the bus stops compliant.
“These options will then be considered for inclusion in our rolling infrastructure delivery programs.”
The spokeswoman said council – and not the bus companies using them – was responsible for all infrastructure at the city’s bus stops.
“This includes the bus shelters, signs, seats and footpaths and also ensuring the bus stops are accessible for users,” she said.