There are plenty of ways to get out and about in Canberra – from driving to public and community transport, to walking.
Transport Canberra is the provider of public transport in the ACT, which includes buses and light rail.
Information about buses and light rail is available by:
- Checking the website at transport.act.gov.au
- Calling Transport Canberra on 13 17 10
Route maps and timetables are available from the Transport Canberra website – www.transport.act.gov.au and Access Canberra Service Centres. You can also call Transport Canberra on 13 17 10 for information.
Transport Canberra’s Journey Planner is a useful online tool for getting around. You can choose from multiple journey modes including bus, light rail, bicycle and walking.
What is MyWay?
MyWay is a prepaid ticketing system for travel on buses and light rail in Canberra. The smartcard technology enables money value and/or travel entitlements to be stored on the card.
Dependent on your eligible concessions, your MyWay card can be purchased at a MyWay Recharge Agent or Access Canberra Service Centre.
Call Transport Canberra on 13 17 10 or go to www.transport.act.gov.au to find your nearest location.
ACT Community Bus Service
Community transport is available for people who are isolated due to lack of transport and operated by the ACT’s regional community services. They provide flexible (usually door to door) transport for ACT residents who are eligible for Commonwealth funded aged care services, or who are isolated, have mobility problems, living with a disability, or have limited access to other transport options. This is not available if you live in an aged care facility or retirement village which has its own transport.
Transport is available for both medical and social purposes, but high demand and limited resources mean that services sometimes prioritise medical transport (visits to hospital, doctors) ahead of
Contact your regional community service for an assessment and to register to use this service. They can provide you with details on how to make a booking, eligibility requirements, any associated costs and answer any further questions you may have.
Belconnen Community Service
Phone: (02) 6278 8124
Gungahlin, ACT, 2912
Phone: (02) 6126 9090
Northside Community Service
Phone: (02) 6171 8000
Community Services #1
Phone: (02) 6126 4700
Tuggeranong and Communities@Work
Phone: (02) 6293 6500
Woden Community Services
Phone: (02) 6181 2828
Flexible Bus Service
The Flexible Bus Service is an ACT Government initiative which provides free bus services to Seniors Card holders aged 70 years and above, Seniors Card holders with mobility issues, people living in a nursing home and/or retirement village and people with a disability or health problems.
The Flexible Bus Service operates weekdays (excluding public holidays) and is designed to pick people up from their homes, providing a return service to major shopping centres and medical appointments. Services are provided from 9:30am til 1:30pm off a basic timetable which is flexible. The Flexible Bus Service includes a fleet of wheelchair accessible minibuses with low steps and an electronic booking system.
Some travel may be determined on a case by case basis.
Bookings should be made two days in advance by contacting Service on 02 6205 3555. Booking office hours are 9am-4pm Monday to Friday with an answering machine after hours.
Transitioning from driving
There may come a time when you want to minimise your driving, drive only during the day or within your local area, or even consider stopping driving altogether. Sometimes you can be forced to stop driving unexpectedly, for instance, you might get sick, have a crash or be advised to give up your drivers’ licence.
It is hard at any age to be objective about your own driving ability. If there are problems, a driving assessor or GP might be able to work out how to address them so you can keep driving. Think about what you would do if you couldn’t drive. Investigate your options and learn to use public transport before you need to stop driving.
The ACT Older Drivers’ Handbook is sent out to people when they turn 70, but you can request a copy from COTA ACT on 6282 3777 or Access Canberra.
When moving house it is worth thinking about the walking distance to the local shops and bus stops. The Walkscore website at www.walkscore.com/AU-ACT/Canberra gives information about how walkable and accessible different neighbourhoods are.
If the condition of footpaths, or obstructions, make it hard to get around in your area, you can contact Fix My Street (call Access Canberra on 13 22 81).
If you want to walk for fitness or pleasure, there are many walking groups in the ACT including Walking for Pleasure (0400 458 758), the Heart Foundation Walking (13 11 12), CanWalk (www.canwalk.org.au) – or pick up a brochure from COTA ACT (02 6282 3777).
Over 80% of Action buses are equipped with bike racks to combine bus and bike travel. The ACT Government also provides free bike cages, bike lockers and bike rails at bike and ride locations so you can lock your bike up and continue by bus. To find out more, call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
There are also electric bikes on the market, which can make cycling much more appealing. Pedal Power ACT (02 6248 7995) can provide advice and suggestions. They also have courses for older cyclists.
Mobility aids and scooters
You can drive a scooter anywhere a pedestrian is allowed to go (not on busy roads!). If they meet certain specifications, you can also take them on an accessible bus. Some smaller scooters can travel in a large Wheelchair Accessible Taxi, although you have to transfer to a seat. If you require advice or assistance in choosing relevant products or services for your needs, you can contact the Independent Living Centres Advisory Service on 1300 885 886. Equipment trials and assessments with Occupational Therapists and suppliers are available by appointment at the Village Creek Centre (run by ACT Health) by calling the Community Health Intake (CHI) on 02 5124 9977.