Frequently asked questions

Do you have some specific questions about community transport or travelling with Connect: Inner West Community Transport Group? We have answered a variety of frequently asked questions below and on our ‘getting started’ page.

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Can I refer someone else (like a parent) for services?

Yes, you certainly can. Register through the My Aged Care portal. Visit their website or call 1800 200 422 to find out more.

What if I want to cancel a service?

If you are unable to attend your booking, please contact us as soon as possible. That way we can allocate your seat to someone on the list, someone who otherwise will miss out.

What if Connect cancels a service?

Connect: Inner West cannot and does not guarantee your service, but will always do its utmost to ensure it occurs. Sudden driver illness can occur. We have contingency plans in case things go wrong. If a service is cancelled, we will always attempt to contact you.

It’s very helpful if your home phone has an answering service. If you have a mobile phone, please let the office know.

This is particularly helpful in the case of Individual Transport as we can advise you directly of when a return trip is available. Please ensure your mobile phone is switched on, and also that you have a message service.

How much does it cost to use Connect's services?

The cost of the service can vary depending on the type of service and / or the location.

Our fees help recover some of the costs of running the service. Community Transport providers are required under their operating contracts to charge fees to Clients.

Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Community Transport Program (CTP) clients pay Connect a Government subsidised fare for their transport. Other clients including Commonwealth Homecare Packages (HCP) and NDIS clients are charged on a full cost recovery basis. Our fees schedule applies to CHSP and CTP clients only.

If you are an NDIS recipient or on an existing HCP and you would like Connect to provide you with transport, contact the office for our fees.

If you are considering moving from CHSP to HCP, contact the office for information on our HCP fees.

 

Drivers are not permitted to negotiate fees, so please discuss any queries or concerns with the office well before your trip.

How do I pay?

Some clients pay cash each ride, others opt to pay on monthly account; while Connect invoices third parties for some clients.

Connect has a number of client groups which have different funding and charging schemes and obligations. Connect itself operates under contract to TFNSW and is also a registered NDIS provider. Our clients fall variously under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP); Commonwealth Homecare Packages (HCP); [NSW Govt] Community Transport Program; and the NDIS, either directly or as a contract transport provider.

CHSP and CTP clients pay Connect a Government subsidised fare for their transport. Other clients including HCP and NDIS clients are charged on a full cost recovery basis. Our fees schedule applies to CHSP and CTP clients only.

If you are considering moving from CHSP to HCP, contact the office for information on our HCP fees. If you are on an existing HCP or NDIS recipient and you would like Connect to provide you with transport, contact the office for our fees.

What help do you provide on services?

All services provide a level of assistance and Drivers will always help you with things like getting in or out of the vehicle, should you need it.

Obviously, not all passengers are the same – some need more help, others less.

Determining what level of help is appropriate for individual passengers is no easy matter. What one passenger may consider appropriate assistance may be considered by another passenger as fussing or demeaning of their ability.

Drivers need clarity in this regard. Assistance is part of the service, so please let our Drivers know if you need help.

Also, please note that the level of assistance varies, depending on the type of service.

Our Shopping Services, for example, have an Assistant on board to assist you with your shopping items.

For safety reasons, the Drivers on the Shuttle services may not be able to leave the vehicle and assist with shopping to your door. The Office is happy to advise you on the level of assistance for different services, but ultimately the choice of service is up to you.

How do you use my information?

After completing the questions, you’ll be asked if you agree to some of your information being made available to other parties.

If you agree, statistical information concerning your use of services will be provided to government agencies. The data is encrypted into a code before being sent to them. It is used for planning purposes and is useful to both Connect: Inner West and the funding bodies.

The data is also used as proof that Connect: Inner West has provided services to you, and is used in funding decisions.

If you do not agree to the info being passed on, we keep the information for our use only. More information about how this works is available by contacting the office.

Your decision to withhold information for privacy reasons does not affect your right to services.

Confidentiality

Connect: Inner West is bound to privacy legislation, and we conform to those requirements. All information regarding passengers is kept secure in our office. Old paper-based information and records are regularly disposed of correctly, and computer-based information is password protected.

Your private information will never be disclosed to anyone without your permission. You have a right to be informed of any of your personal information.

I have a carer. Do you need to know their details?

Yes, whether your carer is a relative, a neighbour or a friend, we need to know if you have a carer so we can contact them if necessary. We like to ensure our services meet your expectations, as well as theirs.

What is an advocate?

An advocate is a person who, with your authority, represents your interests. You can use an independent advocate of your choice to negotiate on your behalf. This may be a family member, friend or an advocacy service.

If you don’t know anyone appropriate, the office can help find an advocacy service for you. A Community Transport staff member can also act on your behalf if you wish. It’s important for us to know that someone has the right to speak on your behalf.

If you wish to use a person or a member of staff as an advocate or would like to change your nominated advocate, then you need to inform us. That’s best done in writing, but if you prefer another method please call the office and we’ll work out a way.

What is a reassessment?

A reassessment is to check that we have up-to-date information about you.

From time to time the office, or a representative of Connect: Inner West, may contact you and conduct a reassessment. This will be conducted at a time suitable to you.

Like your original assessment, it’s to ensure we have the right information to serve you best. The staff member will also check that services are still meeting your needs and advise you of any other services that may be useful.

I can only get an appointment at a certain time, but you can’t book me in for transport. What should I do?

Doctors and hospitals can be quite flexible in appointment times when they know you use Community Transport. If Connect: Inner West services are booked out for your appointment time, please tell the doctors/hospital receptionist, and ask if the date or time can be changed.

If you are a holder of a Community Cabcharge card, you may be permitted to use this facility in times when we are unable to provide you with transport.  You must seek permission from the scheduling team in order to use this card facility inside of normal operating hours.

If you require more information about obtaining or using a Connect: Inner West Community Cabcharge card, please call us.

I need to pick up some medication on my way home. Is that possible?

All our drivers are committed to a daily schedule. This means they are meant to be at a certain location at a specific time so we can transport as many people as possible.

Obviously, with transport to appointments, it’s very important for the driver to run to schedule.

If you know in advance that you need to go to 2 locations, let the office know and we’ll do our best to accommodate that.

What happens if I move to a Home Care Package?

Moving over to a Home Care Package from the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) can have implications on the cost and eligibility of some of the services currently provided to you by Connect.

If you are unsure about how the change could affect you, please call us to discuss before moving over.  We can help you to understand any differences the change will make to your services, ensuring you are confident and happy with your final decision.

What are my rights and responsibilities?

Your rights and responsibilities are covered in our client handbook.

Complaints procedure

An important source of information is passenger / client feedback. If we don’t know it’s broken, we can’t fix it.

You may want to use an advocate to negotiate for you.

Any feedback made will not affect any service you get now or in the future. Connect: Inner West should get back to you within 14 days.

If you are unhappy about any part of the service provided to you and would like to make a complaint, we suggest you follow these steps.

  1. If you feel comfortable about it, raise your complaint with the staff member or passenger concerned in the first place.
  2. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of step one, or not comfortable discussing the issue with the person concerned, you should contact the Community Transport Manager.
  3. If the issue is still not satisfactorily resolved, you should raise the issue with a member of the Community Transport Management Committee. Our office can put you in touch.
  4. If after approaching the above people, the issue is still not resolved, you may want to refer the complaint to the body that funds Community Transport in NSW. Write to:

Service Contract Teams
Community Transport
Transport for NSW
Locked Bag 5085
Parramatta 2124

  1. You will be informed of the outcome of your complaint and asked for your feedback on the complaints procedure.

Using the Ombudsman

The NSW Ombudsman’s Office has an excellent online guide about making a complaint, and also an online complaint form. Visit their website.

You can also phone them weekdays, 9am to 5pm, on 9286 1000

Please phone our office on 9558 6800 between 8:00am and 4:00pm weekdays for bookings or more information.