Passengers probed on public transport seating policy
Market researchers will hit the streets this morning to ask commuters their views on children and adults standing for people with special needs on public transport.
The Gallop Government has commissioned 14 market researchers to spend today travelling across Perth's public transport network asking passengers their opinions on whether students should be compelled to offer their seats to people with special needs.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the survey would be used to gauge community support for the introduction of regulations requiring students to offer their seat to the elderly, pregnant women and the disabled.
"Decades ago, it was generally accepted that children and able-bodied adults stood for people with special needs, particularly the elderly," Ms MacTiernan said.
"Clearly, our culture and concept of courtesy are changing, perhaps for the worse.
"We need to take a look at whether enforceable regulations are necessary to ensure groups such as the elderly, pregnant women and the disabled are not forced to stand on our trains, buses and ferries."
The Minister said the introduction of the low-cost 50-cent student MultiRider fare in October could be an opportunity to introduce new regulations.
"We could make the new, low fare conditional on students offering their seats to those with special needs - if students don't stand, they don't get the special fare," she said.
Today, 400 people - including 100 priority seating passengers, 100 students and 200 standard fare holders - will be quizzed across the public transport network.
"This survey will play a key role in shaping our approach to this issue," Ms MacTiernan said.
"This initiative is part of our commitment to improving services to our growing number of public transport users."