Try a Train and a Bus

Sandy Mahon

Concept and aims

A programme delivered by expert Optalis Travel Trainers, funded by Community Rail Network, to empower and promote the use of public transport for individuals with disabilities and their carers.  To develop an understanding of lived experience and what can be done to promote inclusive travel.

What happened

Individuals participated in group sessions, facilitated by Optalis, which covered multiple components of travelling and what to expect. This included:

-Travelling safely and taking responsibility for personal safety

-What support is available on the bus & train

-Planning, preparation and what to expect

-Buying tickets and using technology


The programme increased confidence of the participants using SWR, Wokingham Station, and Reading Buses. Participants stated they were reassured of the safety procedures in place, know how to report concerns, increased understanding of ticket and barriers. Carers are more confident supporting people to use public transport.


Engaging in local disability groups to increasing confidence on using public transport
Widening options when being supported into employment from supportive rail and bus travel
Working with people with mental health issues who wouldn’t be able to access public transport without the partnership and funding opportunity

It showed me how to take the bus and train on my own….. I found it very helpful because they have staff to come and help us if we get stuck or struggling on the barriers or the ticket machine.

Session participant
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