Summary

  • If you have a disability you can get help  using public transport, like trains, trams, buses and taxis.
  • Most trains in Melbourne and V/Line train stations and trains can be used by people with wheelchairs. Some Melbourne trams are easy to use for people with a disability but some are not easy for people who have wheelchairs or scooters. Most bus services in Melbourne can be used by people who have a wheelchair.
  • If you have a disability you can apply for a free travel pass from Public Transport Victoria. If you have an assistance animal they can also travel for free.
  • There are special taxis for people who use wheelchairs. These taxis are called wheelchair accessible taxis. Some wheelchair accessible taxis are available for people who travel within Melbourne and regional areas.
  • You can apply for a disabled parking permit from your local council so you can park in disabled parks that are closer to where you need to go.
  • You might be able to get some money to help pay for travel costs. This type of help is called a mobility allowance.

If you or someone you care for has a disability and needs help to get around, there is support available including:

  • help to use public transport such as trains, trams, buses and taxis
  • help for people who can drive a private vehicle
  • support to use bicycles as a form of transport
  • the mobility allowance to help with the cost of travel.

Public transport

Public transport is available in many forms including trains, trams, buses and taxis. All these modes of transport have initiatives in place to make using these services more accessible for people with a disability.

Accessible trains and train stations – Metropolitan trains

Wheelchair access is available on all Melbourne metropolitan trains.

Access ramps to platforms are available at most stations. Lift access is available at all City Loop stations including Flinders Street and Southern Cross, as well as Box Hill, Dandenong, Boronia, North Melbourne, Nunawading, Laverton, Footscray, Williams Landing and Watergardens.

All metropolitan train stations provide tactile paths for people who are vision impaired as guides through the stations and platforms to street level. The time and destination of all train services are verbally announced before the train arrives at the platform.

All premium metropolitan train stations, as well as 21 other stations across Melbourne, provide electronic display boards to help people who are hearing impaired access real-time information about train times and destinations.

For more information on accessing trains visit the Metro Trains website or call 1800 800 007.

Accessible trains and train stations – V/Line regional trains

All V/Line train stations and trains are accessible for wheelchair users and people with other mobility needs. If you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, the conductor will help you board by placing a ramp between the platform and the train carriage. Train station staff are also available to help any train passengers with special needs.

Wheelchair-accessible toilets are provided on the Sprinter and VLocity V/Line trains, but there is limited access to accessible toilets on the older style locomotive-hauled trains.

The train timetables indicate which services are accessible.

Find more information about accessible regional services from V/Line or for information about travelling with a mobility aid, call Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007.

Accessible trams

The Melbourne tram network uses both low-floor and high-floor trams. Some trams are easily accessible by people with a disability, however some, such as high-floor trams, have steps and are unsuitable for wheelchairs or scooters.

People using most types of mobility aids can board low-floor trams at level access tram stops (also known as accessible stops or platform stops).

All Melbourne metropolitan trams have priority seats near the driver for people with special needs.

In low-floor trams, step-free priority seating is provided inside the door marked with the wheelchair symbol.

Routes 96 and 109 are generally operated with a low floor tram. Routes 5, 6, 8, 48, 16 and 72 are partly serviced by low floor trams.

The tramTRACKER® mobile phone app will help you find the predicted arrival time of the next three low floor vehicles at your stop.

Find more information about Yarra Trams accessible journeys and accessible stops.

Accessible buses

Most people using wheelchairs can access bus services on the Melbourne metropolitan network. Some bus routes are fully wheelchair-accessible and others are partly wheelchair-accessible. Metropolitan bus timetables indicate which bus services are accessible.

People with a disability travelling in regional Victoria should contact the local bus operator to find out which services are the most suitable to meet their needs.

Find information for all public bus operators in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria on the Public Transport Victoria website.

Free access travel passes

Public Transport Victoria issues a number of free travel passes to people with a disability. This allows people with the passes to travel for free on Victorian public transport services.

People with a permanent physical disability, cognitive condition or mental illness who have difficulty using the myki public transport ticketing system may be eligible to apply for the Access Travel Pass. This provides a valid ticket at all times when using public transport services.

Travel companions and carers are not eligible for the Access Travel Pass, but they may be eligible for the:

People who are legally blind can apply for a Vision Impaired Travel Pass.

Find more information about eligibility and how to apply for travel passes on the Public Transport Victoria website.

Assistance animals and guide dogs

All public transport trains, trams and buses operating in Victoria provide free travel for guide dogs, guide dogs in training, hearing dogs or animals with an Assistance Animal pass.

Find more information on getting an Assistance Animal Pass including application forms on the Public Transport Victoria website.

Scooter and wheelchair travel pass

People who need a scooter or wheelchair to use public transport can apply for a Scooter and Wheelchair Travel Pass.

Scooter and Wheelchair Travel Pass holders have free travel on:

  • trains, trams and buses in metropolitan Melbourne
  • V/Line trains and buses in regional Victoria
  • other public transport services including buses operated under contract or service agreements with Public Transport Victoria.

Find more information on how to apply for a Scooter and Wheelchair Travel pass including application forms on the Public Transport Victoria website.

Taxi travel

The Victorian Taxi Services Commission provides support to help people with a disability to get around. Wheelchair accessible taxis (WATs) are available for people who use wheelchairs to travel in Melbourne and some regional areas.

Scooters, Princess and other 'high-care' chairs cannot be transported in wheelchair accessible taxis if you are seated in them. However, they can be carried in a wheelchair accessible taxi if both:

  • the taxi driver can safely restrain the chair to stop it moving
  • you can sit in a fixed seat in the taxi and use the seat belt.

The Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) is available to help with the travel needs of people with a severe and permanent disability. This program offers subsidised taxi fares to members by paying 50 per cent of the cost of a taxi, up to $60 per trip. This subsidy may be capped to a yearly limit.

Find more information on what help is available for people with a disability travelling in taxis.

Driving and parking help

There are initiatives to help people with a disability drive a car or use motorised mobility devices to become more independently mobile. Depending on your abilities, you may be able to:

People with a disability may be able to become a licensed driver and obtain a parking permit.

  • become a licensed driver
  • obtain a parking permit

Driver license requirements

In Victoria, most people with a physical disability can get a driving licence, and those who had a driver licence before they had a disability can usually continue to drive, as long as they are assessed as being safe to do so.

People with a disability  must meet the same requirements as anyone else when they apply for a learner permit or driver licence.

However, they must also provide VicRoads with a medical report with information on the nature and extent of the disability and evidence that they have no other medical issues that stop them from driving safely.

While learning to drive, people with da disability  can try adaptive equipment in their motor vehicles and decide what works best for them.

Motorcycle or car driver licences will be annotated to show any vehicle modifications so that they can be driven legally.

Find more information on licensing and driving for people with a disability on the VicRoads website.

Disability parking

A parking scheme to help people with a disability currently operates in Victoria. This scheme is part of the Australian Disability Parking Scheme developed by the Commonwealth Government.

Disability parking permit application forms are available through Victorian council offices. You must apply to your local council for a permit.

Disability parking permits are recognised in all Australian states and territories, regardless of the issuing council.

Find more information on the Victorian disability parking scheme on the VicRoads website.

Motorised mobility devices

People using motorised mobility devices such as scooters and power wheelchairs and  manual wheelchairs are considered pedestrians by law and must obey the same road rules as pedestrians.

VicRoads has written a detailed guide for choosing and using motorised mobility devices that includes:

  • who may use a motorised device
  • how to choose the right one
  • checks to make before you leave the house
  • road rules you must follow.

Find more information on motorised mobility devices from VicRoads.

Riding a bicycle

People with a disability can ride a bicycle on the footpath if they have a medical certificate which states that their disability makes it difficult for them to ride on the road. People issued with this certificate must follow the conditions of the certificate.

The cyclist must carry the medical certificate whenever they ride a bike and must show it to a police officer or authorised person on request.

Riders must keep to the left of footpaths and shared paths, unless they are unable to, and must give way to pedestrians.

Find more information about the road rules governing riding bicycles on the VicRoads website.

Mobility allowance

The Australian Government-funded mobility allowance helps people with a disability pay for transport costs when they cannot use public transport to join in approved activities without substantial assistance. 

To qualify for the mobility allowance you must be:

  • aged 16 or over
  • unable to use public transport without substantial help, either permanently or for an extended period, due to a mental or physical disability, illness or injury
  • undertaking an approved activity such as going to work, job training or looking for work, and required to travel to and from home as part of this activity.

The mobility allowance is not payable to participants in a National Disability Insurance Scheme plan containing a funded package of support.

Find more information about the mobility allowance from the Australian Department of Human Services website.

Where to get help

  • Public Transport Victoria, 1800 800 007
  • Metro Trains, call 1800 800 007
  • Taxi Services Commission, call 1800 638 802
  • V/Line, call 1800 800 007
  • VicRoads, call 13 11 71
  • Yarra Trams, call 1800 800 007

More information

Disability services topics

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Better Health Channel - (need new cp)

Last updated: September 2015

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