3.6 Return journey planning

Once people have reached their destination, they usually need to return to their origin. This involves retracing their steps to undertake the return, or journeying on to another location.

People should be able to easily find the start of their return journey by re-tracing their travel path, but this is not always a smooth process, especially for those with accessibility requirements.

People with disability often arrange their return journey as part of the pre-journey planning. Their travel plans may be fixed on returning on a particular service at a particular time. If their circumstances change while they are out, or if changes are made by the transport provider, it can be difficult to re-plan their return journey.

Aspirations for this journey part

  • People can easily re-trace their steps to find the public transport node that takes them back to their origin.
  • Return journey planning should be flexible so people don"t have to work to a rigid return schedule if they don"t want to.

How can we achieve this?

3.6.1 Paired stops

For bus coach and mini-bus services, bus stops should be paired, meaning that the inbound stop has a corresponding outbound stop that is easily accessible. For example, placing bus stops on opposite sides of the road to each other and having suitable safe crossing points, such as traffic lights, pedestrian refuge islands and kerb ramps depending on the local setting. This will help people to easily find their return bus stop. Naming conventions for paired stops should be consistent, for example, ‘Stop A Inbound’ paired with ‘Stop A outbound’42.

3.6.2 Journey planning tools

Journey planning apps should be easy to access and use. For example, return journey functionality should be incorporated so that it is easy to reverse a journey in the app and be guided to the relevant boarding point and service.

Geolocation features should also be incorporated into apps so that people can use this function to locate themselves and plan a return journey. ‘Favourite’ journeys should be saveable so people can easily access their favourites to get up-to-date information about service times. Overall, planning information should dynamically adjust to the user's location and the time of day (including tidal changes for ferries) to help identify a return journey.

3.6.3 Real time information

Information about arriving services should be provided in real time either by signage, audible announcements or via an app to enable people to plan their return journey.

3.6.4 Customer service

As with pre-journey planning, the return journey benefits from the support of customer service advice and direction. This may be more critical where the level of direction and assistance for people with disability may be higher as they are starting from a location which is less familiar.

42 Vision Australia and John McPherson submission on the draft guide.

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