Seniors get transport lifeline for 2018 Games
AUSTRALIA may be waiting with bated breath for the start of the 2018 Commonwealth Games but it could be seniors who are left literally waiting on the side of the road.
The Gold Coast can expect nearly 1.5 million spectators to flood the city for the start of Games next April with the public transport system expected to haul the majority to and from events.
And there are fears the extra burden on the system could displace a large percentage of the region's most vulnerable people with any timetable changes, re-routes or overcrowding.
However, local organisation Village Community Services is hoping to ease any frustration with their State Government backed program 'We'll Get You There (WGT)'.
"The program is to support senior Queenslanders in navigating the public transport system," Village Community Services project worker Melissa Helou told Seniors News.
"It's an issue we find is a barrier.
"(And) transport is going to be a bit difficult around the Commonwealth Games.
"Being able to know how to get to places using public transport, using the buses and the trams, is really going to help people out."
However, WGT, hoped to be rolled out by September, isn't just about the Games, with the program hopefully to make life easier for seniors in their everyday life.
"We can do up maps, help them say to get to doctor's appointments, or getting to the hospital," Ms Helou said.
The program works by seniors, with Community Services staff, creating a personalised map of all their important destinations and the best routes and public transport to get them there.
Seniors are then accompanied on these routes by volunteers until they feel comfortable enough to do the trip on their own.
The potential of the program has received a major boost with the Queensland Government backing the project to the tune of $65,000 as part of their Advancing Queensland initiative.
Ms Helou said the funding would provide major "support" for the program.
"We will be able to do a lot with it," she said.
"It's really going to help support the community."