Media release – Youth Network of Tasmania, 14 October 2021

Report highlights safety concerns for young Tasmanians using public transport

“People are sometimes too afraid to get on buses. This may be because of a particular bully catching the same bus, or others causing a massive ruckus. I have been a victim of harassment on public transport and felt scared. That’s not okay.”

– TYF participant

Tasmania’s young people are calling for action to increase their safety and the safety of others using public transport in Tasmania according to the findings of the Tasmanian Youth Forum Report Transport published today.

YNOT CEO, Tania Hunt said the report highlighted significant concerns from young people about their personal safety both on public transport and in public transit waiting areas.

“We heard from a diverse range of young people and their desire to improve personal safety for themselves and others when using public transport,” Ms. Hunt said.

“Public transport dominated discussions at the forum with personal safety emerging as a prominent theme. Concerns varied from anti-social behaviour on buses, to overcrowding to insufficient lighting at bus stops”.

“In particular, they spoke about who has, or should have, duty of care for students on buses with a high level of empathy expressed for bus drivers and their safety. Young people also recognised that their peers engage in anti-social behaviour on public transport and that this is unacceptable.”

“Other key issues raised included access to affordable, available and appropriate transport, transport disadvantage, environmental concerns, road safety and multiple barriers to social and economic participation in their communities.”.

“Young people shared a statewide vision for a safe, connected, environmentally sustainable and innovative transport system in Tasmania. They have told us what they need to make this happen. Not only do we need to listen, but we also need to act to ensure young Tasmanians can take full advantage of all that our state has to offer.” Ms. Hunt said.

The TYF 2021 Transport Report is available on the YNOT website

Recommendations to government

1. Co-design transport policy and initiatives with young people

Provide opportunities and support for young people to work collaboratively with government agencies to co-design transport-related policy, initiatives and services. It is essential that co-design principles underpin all actions arising from this report, and that young people are offered meaningful opportunities to have a say on issues that affect them. It is recommended that co-designing transport policy and initiatives with young people is incorporated as an action within the ‘Participating’ domain of the Tasmanian Government Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy 2021.

2. Increase the safety of young people using public transport

Increase the personal safety of young people using public transport by clarifying who has ‘duty of care’ for unaccompanied young people, especially for those travelling to and from school. Clear safety policies and procedures are needed to protect young people from violence, bullying, harassment and antisocial behaviour when using public transport in Tasmania and to respond appropriately to any incidents. Further investments are needed to improve infrastructure and promote safe behaviours on public transport and in public transit waiting areas. Initiatives to increase public safety of young people should be aligned with the ‘Being loved, safe and valued’ domain of the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy 2021.

3. Increase public transport accessibility for all young people

Invest in initiatives to increase transport access for those who experience disadvantage due to economic circumstances, age, disability, or location, addressing service gaps in urban areas and transport disadvantage in urban-fringe, rural and regional areas. Embed transport within the ‘Having material basics’ domain of the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy 2021 alongside actions that focus on improving young people’s accessibility to education and training, employment, communities, and essential services.

4. Make public transport more affordable to all young people

Increase public transport affordability for young people, enabling them to actively participate in education and training, employment, and as part of their communities. Work with public and private transport service providers to implement an integrated, statewide ticketing system with consistent, affordable fares for young people who are disadvantaged due to low income, disability, or location.

5. Promote alternative, environmentally sustainable transport options

Increase public awareness, acceptance and use of public transport, walking and cycling options, and invest in initiatives that promote walking and cycling as viable and desirable forms of transport through improved infrastructure, land use planning and behavioural change. Include the development of environmentally sustainable, innovative public and private transport as part of the new Tasmanian Climate Change Action Plan.

Read the full Report on Young People’s Ideas and Solutions for Transport in Tasmania.