Community Transport Program
The Community Transport service is managed and coordinated by Swan Hill Neighbourhood House as a community initiative, with the help of volunteer drivers.
Below are some Frequently Asked Questions with useful information regarding the service.
Who is the community transport service for?
This service is for people living in the Swan Hill area, who cannot access public transport to and from medical appointments in Kerang, Bendigo or Melbourne.
Who is eligible for the service?
People who are eligible for this service are those who cannot access public transport due to:
Illness, age, frailty, disability, fear, personal care needs, inconvenient timetables or lack of public transport in their area.
If you are not sure whether you are eligible, please give Swan Hill Neighbourhood House a call.
Who is not eligible for the service?
People who are not eligible for the service include those who:
are able to travel by public transport, hold a Veterans' Affairs Gold Card, or those who are unable to transfer from a wheelchair to a car seat independently.
Will the community transport service pick me up at home?
Yes, the community car can pick you up at your home or at another location, as required.
Where can the community transport service take me?
The transport service can provide transport to Kerang, Bendigo or Melbourne for Medical Appointments.
What are my transport options if I am in a wheelchair?
If you are unable to transfer to a car seat independently, then please discuss your transport needs with your doctor or medical practitioner to determine if you qualify for non-emergency transport by Ambulance Victoria.
Can a carer travel with me?
All carers of passengers can travel with the Swan Hill Community Transport Service free of charge, as long as they are accompanying the passenger. Additional seats must be booked prior to transportation.
Neighbourhood House does not have recurrent funding for it's Community Transport scheme and therefore requires a passenger contribution towards running costs. The contribution is calculated as a return trip per kilometre, for example:
Kerang - $50
Bendigo - $85
Melbourne - $150
People are urged to use public transport and local taxi services (whenever possible) and these services may be utilised in conjunction with the Swan Hill Community Transport Service. You can telephone Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007 or V/Line on 136 196
Passengers accessing SHNH's Transport Service may be eligible for the Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS). VPTAS covers some of the travel and accommodation costs incurred by rural Victorians when they must travel more than 100 kilometres one way for specialist medical treatment.
Click here to visit the VPTAS website, or contact the VPTAS office on 1300 737 073 or email@example.com.
Passengers may also be eligible for the Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP), a program that assists people with accessibility and mobility needs by offering subsidised commercial passenger vehicle fares to members.
Click here to visit the MPTP website, or contact Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria on 1800 638 802 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Centrelink Special Benefit Payment
If you are in severe financial hardship through illness etc., you may be eligible for a special benefit payment from Centrelink. This may be particularly helpful if you find yourself in need of regular health treatment, which includes additional expenses, travel costs, etc.
Strict conditions apply, and more information is available by telephoning Centrelink on 132 850.
Support local transport
It is not the intention of the Swan Hill Community Transport Service to duplicate transport services, and therefore cause a negative impact upon existing public bus, train, or taxi services. Local taxi services can provide flexible transport options for people needing to travel across Swan Hill and the surrounding areas, and public bus and train services have a number of timetables available.
So remember, if you CAN use public transport, then please use these services whenever you can.