ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Katy Gallagher, today announced the extension of the bus hailing kit trial for vision impaired passengers.

“Since late-March 2012, a three month trial of bus hailing kits has been underway with the aim of improving accessibility to ACTION bus services for vision impaired passengers,” the Chief Minister said.

“So more people can get involved, the trial will be extended until the end of 2012.

“The ACT Government has worked closely with Vision Australia and Guide Dogs ACT on the distribution and use of the bus hailing kits, which have been supplied by a Canadian public transport provider,” the Chief Minister said.

The bus hailing kit is a pocket-sized set of numbered cards that are printed with large text and Braille numbers designed for use by visually-impaired people to help signal buses they wish to board.

The kits come with a clear plastic pouch with three slots for the desired route number. The inserts are in large print to help customers and drivers see them easily. A customer waiting at the bus stop holds the kit at shoulder height to signal to the bus driver.

“Trial participants have been asked to provide feedback on a range of factors including ease of use, functionality, size, convenience, Braille legibility, driver response and night-time usage. Feedback from trial participants will be used to improve the kits prior to wider roll out,” the Chief Minister said.

“Feedback received in the first three months of the trial has been positive with the Braille, pocket-size, convenience and night time functionality being especially well regarded.

“The ACT Government is committed to improving accessibility and making it easier for people with disabilities to use public transport,” the Chief Minister concluded.

For more information about the bus hailing kits or to take part in the trial contact ACTION on 13 17 10.