Ensuring our transport network continues to meet the needs of an ageing population
Who we are as a people, as a community and as a state is changing. We are getting older. We are living longer than ever before.
By 2031, one in three people in NSW will be aged 50 years or older. Population ageing is changing life in NSW. Our economy, labour market, healthcare and other essential services, and the fabric of our communities are evolving. The NSW Government recognises that access to appropriate transport is the key to older people’s independence, social inclusion and overall wellbeing.
The rate of ageing within the next two decades means that around one in five customers of public transport services and pedestrians will be an older person. Such a dramatic demographic change demands action by government to ensure that the needs of all customers can continue to be met. Frontline customer service staff will require additional training to better support older customers. Supporting those customers with dementia or cognitive impairments will increasingly become a priority. Passenger transport providers will be required to continue improving the accessibility of services and the design of transport infrastructure.
Building on the work of the NSW Ageing Strategy 2016-2020 and Future Transport 2056, the draft Older Persons Transport and Mobility Plan 2018-2022 for the first time in history outlines the NSW Government’s commitment to providing an accessible and affordable transport system for the entire community. We want older people to maintain their mobility and access the services and activities that can support their health and wellbeing, their independence and their continued participation in, and contribution to, the social and economic life of their communities.
Whilst our record investment in the Transport Access Program has resulted in over 90% of all public transport journeys being accessible, continued planning is critical if NSW is to have a world-class transport system with infrastructure investments and initiatives that support growth, and meet our aspirations for how we want to travel and live. We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the draft Older Persons Transport and Mobility Plan 2018-2022. This is your opportunity to provide input on the work we have done so far and we encourage the community and industry to work with us in the coming months as we finalise the Plan.