Travellers Aid and V/Line

Published by Darron Toy on

Travellers Aid provides transport support, advice and help to travellers, Including people in emergency situations and those with special needs. As country Victoria’s largest transport operator, at V/Line we understand the importance of providing access to public transport services to everyone in our communities. Our long-standing partnership with Travellers Aid helps us to support customers in need. “Transport disadvantage impacts people’s ability to participate in the community, to access employment, education and access health appointments. And Travellers Aid supports people who have disabilities, people with mobility needs and people who are frail aged and people who are in emergency or a crisis situation and need to travel to places that safety. V/Line has a long relationship, working together with Travellers Aid going right back to the old VicRail days. Travellers Aid assist by looking after the elderly, the infirmed, those people who are underprivileged . They’re very very important. Travellers Aid facilities at Southern Cross
and Flinders Street stations offer a range of services for all travellers which includes internet access luggage storage, mobility equipment hire, showers and sleeping rooms. Additionally there are fully accessible toilets and trained staff who can provide personal care for people with disabilities. Travellers Aid at Southern Cross station also operate a buggy service which is a pre-booked service for 24
hours notice to provide people support to travel through the station confidently, to enable them to make a transfer from one platform to another. The V/Line conductors will often call ahead if they see a client who may be frail or maybe have a lot a lot of luggage and book our buggy service and we know a lot of our V/Line conductor’s pretty well and they often ring every day for someone who might need our services. Every year more than 50,000 people travel to Melbourne for medical appointments and treatments, not available in country Victoria. Often these are frail, elderly or travellers living with a disability who rely on other people to drive or accompany them to their appointments. The medical companion service takes the
stress out of navigating Melbourne’s public transport network. and helps these travellers to reach their
destination safely. The medical companion services
where we provide support with volunteers who accompany people to medical appointments on public transport here in Melbourne. Sometimes when these people arrive,
especially for the first time their nervous, they’ve come from the country town to the big city, they can’t find their way around. This program has volunteers meeting the people off the trains and assisting them getting them to where they’re going to make sure they can meet that medical appointment on time, so it’s very good for our customers and for the people of regional Victoria to have that assistance available to them. I had an elderly couple that were very nervous, they had a medical appointment, so I rang Travellers Aid and they met the train on arrival at Melbourne and took the passengers down for the appointment. A couple of days later, I did receive a written compliment from the customer, thanking me for the service that I provided You ring up a couple of days before, we organise a companion, it just means you don’t have to organise
patient transport or take cabs, we can help you get to and from your appointment on public transport so we can make it is easy for you as possible to get to that vital appointment. I love medical companion program because as a vision impaired person, I can get on the train at Kyneton come down, be met at the platform by a trained volunteer, be taken out to my appointment and then returned back and put back on the train to go home. With the Emergency Relief Program we
address the financial side of travel, people who need to go somewhere but don’t have the money and usually it’s a crisis situation so it can be for homelessness, family violence, medical appointments, prison, a range of issues. There may be a family dispute and they need to move people, they need to move people out of state, or to family and relatives elsewhere and they help out a lot in those circumstances. A standard example for us is that someone will get robbed in the city and or lose their purse and they’ll be stranded to get home, so we help them out with a ticket to the make it a bit easier for them, make sure they get home safely. Just recently I had a phone call from the Royal Children’s Hospital, they had a woman and a, who had a premature baby born there in the hospital and mom had to go to Colac where her mother is. and but had to go to Geelong Hospital every day to look after her baby. So we helped mom with two kids to go
back and forth between Colac and Geelong. V/Line supports the pathways to education program by providing travel to eligible regional students who may not be able to attend school without this financial subsidy. Our pathways to education program supports young people to access education by providing subsidised travel tickets. It enables them to not just get to school safely and confidently, it also means they can go to
volunteering and go to employment opportunities and keep in touch with friends and family. The cost of travel can be a barrier to accessing education for students and families with limited incomes I think very often people forget the
importance of transport and train travel within education, if you are a family who is struggling for cash it may be a reason that a child cannot continue at school or go on to further education. With their pathways program, Travellers Aid together with a V/Line can assist families and ensuring that those kids continue with their education. V/Line’s support of Travellers Aid services and facilities are an example of the rewarding relationship and ongoing commitment of V/Line to communities in country Victoria. It’s gratifying to know that from the minute someone hops from the V/Line train and lets the conductor know the Travellers Aid will be meeting them that that person has got a safe and
supported journey from start to finish and it’s really great to be part of that. We truly value the partnership that Travellers Aid has with V/Line and we sincerely look forward to the future. There’s lots of things we can achieve
together to benefit the community. Travellers Aid is very very important to the operation of the station and for V/Line’s customers and V/Line is very proud to be a associated with Travellers Aid

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1 Comment

Lois Gunstone · March 19, 2019 at 10:10 am

I recently had reason to travel from Shepparton through to Bairnsdale with my two year old granddaughter, I am in my late sixties and it was a bit daunting with two cases, a stroller and a little 2 yr. old. We left Shepparton on Coach and had to then catch the train at Seymour. I contacted Marg of Travellers Aid at Seymour and arranged for her to help us off the Coach and onto the train. She was fantastic and put my mind at rest immediately, she then organised for us to be met at Southern Cross. We were met by a very friendly and efficient team, taken to the office, in their great little buggy, where we left our luggage and we then went to lunch, back to the office and were then taken by the little buggy, to the Bairnsdale train. We had the same fantastic Service on our return trip. Marg was at Seymour, after hours, waiting to put us on the Coach back to Shepparton. I cannot state enough how fabulous the Service and Staff are, I doubt if the trip would have been possible without their aid, and special thank you to Marg at Seymour, you are a kind, caring and awesome person 👍

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