Imagine living in a city where trams are the main form of public transport. The tram network spreads across the city reaching many of its corners and connecting places, businesses, and families.
In fact, this city holds the record for having the largest tram system in the world. The network is an iconic character of the city spanning 25 routes, with 250 kilometres of double track, more than 500 trams and over 1600 stops.
Now imagine only 4 of those 25 routes can partly welcome you. Only some trams in 7 other routes are accessible to you and less than 30% of all stops are designed for you to comfortably and easily access the tram.
This is the reality for more than a quarter of a million people in Melbourne who identify as having a profound or severe mobility limitation.
In Brunswick, the above scenario gets only worse. The home to the longest shopping strip in the southern hemisphere, Sydney Road, has only two accessible tram stops in a 5.5 km stretch from Brunswick Road to the end of the tram line.
One of our local legends, Christian Astourian is leading a campaign to make Sydney Road accessible for ALL.
Christian Astourian outside of Brunswick’s Town hall
Christian has cerebral palsy, and his body movements are very limited. Nevertheless, his willingness, determination, and ability to dialogue with other community members are boundless.
Next Wednesday, November 15th at 12:30pm you can join Christian and other community members on the steps of Parliament House to present the petition to Tim Reid MP, the petition’s sponsor, to table in the Victorian Parliament.
You can’t come?
No worries, you can sign the petition to Parliament! For it to be considered by the Victorian Parliament of Victoria, the campaign needs 10 thousand signatures (it currently has little over one thousand).
All the statistics presented in this post were collected and deduced from the following sources:
- Department of Transport and Planning – tram network infrastructure numbers.
- Premier of Victoria’s website – number of people identifying as having profound or severe mobility limitations in Victoria.
- The number of people identified in Melbourne with profound or severe mobility limitations was calculated using the following ratio: 77 out of 100 people who live in Victoria, reside in Melbourne.
- Public Transport Victoria – accessibility and mobility requirements in the state’s tram network.
- Auditor General Accessibility of Tram Services Report – tram stops with level access.
This article was written, edited, and published on the stolen lands of the Wurundjeri-woi wurrung People, whose sovereignty was never ceded.