Everyone wants to be more independent, but since the introduction of the Woopi Connect On Demand service, Adam Morris has achieved just that.
Mullaway resident Mr Morris, who has been blind his whole life, catches the on-demand service to and from his pizzeria job at twice a week, as well as to his judo lessons in Woolgoolga.
“I love catching the bus, it’s definitely made me more independent and has meant my wife doesn’t have to take time out of her day to take me to work,” the 54-year-old said.
The on-demand-style service, run out of ComfortDelGro Australia (CDC)’s Forest Coach Lines depot, began in 2019 with a trial phase before it was made permanent this year alongside several other NSW Government contracts.
It allows many people from communities like Woolgoolga, Safety Beach, Mullaway, Arrawarra, Arrawarra Headland and Corindi Beach, to live more independent and fulfilling lives by allowing them access to personalised and cost-effective public transport.
While Mr Morris said his trips usually only lasted 10 minutes, he had formed great relationships with the Woopi Connect bus drivers.
“I get to know them all on a first name basis and they know me too,” he said.
“It makes it easier at work too because they’ll wind down the window and let me know they’re ready and I’ll walk out.”
Mr Morris loves his job at the pizzeria, where he has been preparing vegetable toppings since 2018. He started taking judo lessons at Woopi Warriors Judo Club in 2017, attending the “no limits” class for people with disabilities.
“It’s basically a way to keep fit and to learn self-defence if I need it,” he said.
CDC General Manager NSW Operations Andrew Fogg said the expansion of Woopi Connect was a great outcome for the community.
“The people of Woolgoolga have gained many opportunities that simply weren’t available to them before with the introduction of Woopi Connect,” Mr Fogg said.
“It opened the Coffs Harbour CBD to many residents, enhancing our economy, boosting people’s employment prospects, and helping the elderly get to essential services including medical and dental appointments.
“Making this service permanent will allow more people to take advantage of this flexible, convenient service and get more enjoyment from their lives.”