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Our Purpose

To build and sustain communities so that everyone can access and participate in their chosen activities.

Our Values

Our values are more than just our beliefs.  They guide our decisions and our behaviour during times of growth and challenges.

  • Compassion
  • Respect                                     
  • Reliability
  • Integrity
  • Acceptance
     

Compassion: We care about our clients and look for opportunities to enhance their lives and support their independence.

Respect: We believe that our clients have choice and must be respected as individuals.

Reliability: We meet our obligations and honour our commitments.

Integrity: We are accountable for our actions and act honestly in the best interests of our clients,the community and our supporters.

Acceptance: We accept our clients for who they are and offer a safe, non-judgemental service they can rely on.

Our History

Easy-Go Connect officially formed on 20 September, 1982 as the Blacktown Community Transport Coordinating Committee.

Our mission was “to provide the aged and disabled of the Blacktown Local Government Area, who do not have access to a private vehicle and who cannot use buses and trains, with a transport service within their financial means”.

Services commenced on 17 January 1983. At the time there was one part- time coordinator and services were provided by Western District Radio Cabs. In that first week of operation 28 trips were provided to 14 clients. Clients were asked to contribute $1.00 per quarter hour of use.

In 1997, the first minibus was purchased using funding received from the Home and Community Care (HACC) program.

The service was incorporated on 28 September 1988 and officially became known as Blacktown Community Transport Incorporated.

Over the next 25 years the service continued to provide transport to the people of Blacktown Council area. The fleet expanded to 12 vehicles and service was provided to over 1,500 people.

In 2015 a customer value research project was undertaken to provide the organisation with data and information that would assist in identifying what was needed for the future in order for services to thrive and grow. The research found that our name, Blacktown Community Transport, meant very little to most people and needed to be explained. Even though we had been operating in the area for over 30 years.

People within the community did not understand what community transport was and who it was for. The organisation’s name also incorporated the suburb name of Blacktown and many people thought that the service was just for the people in Blacktown the suburb, whereas the service covered all 48 suburbs in the Council area of Blacktown.

With this information the Board agreed to the researcher’s recommendation that we change our name to reflect the inclusiveness of the community. On 16 March 2016, at a special general meeting, the members of Blacktown Community Transport agreed to change the organisation’s name to Easy-Go Connect with the tag line of travel in safe hands. This new name was chosen because it signifies the ease of accessing community transport services and the security of travelling with us.

On the 4 May 2016, Blacktown Community Transport officially became known as Easy-Go Connect.

Since that time the service has continued to grow and we now have over 3,500 residents registered as clients. Our service now includes a travel training program that assists people across the whole Cumberland Prospect region to learn how to travel using public transport, and we have a business development manager to ensure as many people as possible know about Easy-Go Connect and what we can offer.

Our Achievements

A year of major change! From July we hit the ground running and, to coincide with the official launch of Easy-Go Connect, our vehicles were  rebranded. Feedback received from the public is telling us that our vehicles definitely stand out in the community.

Under direction from TfNSW a new booking system, RouteMatch – CTABS, was rolled out. Preparations for the change in our data management syste in September and we went live in December 2016. The implementation of this new program resulted in a significant change of how the service bookings and operations are managed.  Staff were under an enormous amount of pressure during this time and, to their credit, it was business as usual for our clients while we transitioned between the old and new booking systems. Even after 6 months of having the new system we are still learning and constantly looking to see where we can improve the program for the benefit of our clients, the staff managing the program and our drivers.

Our drivers have adapted well to the ‘new age’ of service delivery with electronic devices fitted to each  vehicle providing them with continuous updates to their daily runs. We have a great team here at EGC and they have embraced this new technology in a way that exceeded all our hopes and expectations.

Every day our drivers, volunteer drivers and bus assistants go above and beyond what is required to ensure everyone on the bus is made welcome and experiences a safe and smooth ride. As a specialised Community Transport provider of Western Sydney, EGC ensured that a quality service was available to our 3,500+ registered clients this year.

Our flexibility, commitment and strong community presence means that many groups seek our assistance to provide service and transport support for their own clients. During the last  financial year EGC was able to support over 30 groups and organisations with transport including Aboriginal Elders groups, Multicultural Seniors groups, disability services and retirement villages.

 

Travel Training

Travel training teaches people how to access public transport safely and with confidence.

For the cost of an opal fare, this service can assist anyone living in the Blacktown, Cumberland, Hills and Parramatta Council areas who is physically and mentally capable of travelling on public transport.

This is a 2 year pilot project funded by Transport for NSW. The project commenced in July 2016 and runs on a part time capacity.

Training is offered to individuals and groups and during this period our travel training services played a vital role by assisting 14 groups and 24 individuals in becoming more confident and independent in their use of the public transport system.

A few examples of how we have connected people to their communities through travel training include:

  • catching the bus to their local shopping centre;
  • using the train to travel to work; and,
  • we taught a group of year 6 students how to get to the high schools they will be attending in the New Year.
Statistics

Service growth

46,016 trips were delivered this year assisting over 2,000 individuals.
Our vehicles travelled 322,459 km with many more additional kilometres provided by taxis and coaches.
The following chart shows the growth in service provision over the past 6 years.

Service cancellation

One of our biggest challenges is managing the large number of transport cancellations. In 2016-17, 8,981 bookings were cancelled. The new database captures all bookings that have been entered in the system no matter how far in advance it was booked and/or cancelled. This does give a rather inflated figure as bookings cancelled well in advance are often filled by new bookings. We will examine this more in detail next year when all information is extracted from the one data base

Unmet need

211 bookings were unable to be delivered this year. The majority of requests for transport that we are unable to meet are for out of area appointments. However, many clients will not ask for out of area transport as they know that EGC has difficulty in providing this service. Therefore, it is highly likely that the true level of unmet need is much higher than reported.

Easy-Go Fleet

Safety and comfort for our passengers is imperative and we continuously scan the market for vehicles that can best meet these needs. Our Mitsubishi Rosa buses and Toyota sedan were replaced during the year. Holden are discontinuing the wagon with the most replacement being the Honda Odyssey.

Our current fleet consists of:

  • 1 Toyota Sedan
  • 2 Holden Station Wagons
  • 6 Toyota Commuter Mini Buses with wheelchair access)
  • 1 Toyota Coaster Bus
  • 2 Mitsubishi Rosa Buses with wheelchair access)

 

EGC prides itself on knowing our vehicles are regularly, maintained and safe travel. This is an ongoing which entails:

  • Daily basic checks;
  • Cleaning;
  • Weekly inspections;
  • Scheduled safety checks and servicing;
  • Annual fire extinguisher checks;
  • All mini buses undergo a yearly heavy vehicle inspection at the Roads and Maritime Services;

 

All vehicles carry seat belt extensions, first aid and universal clean up kits, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, and appropriate restraints for the storage of mobility aids.

Our vehicles have also been with tracking systems.where our vehicles throughout the day assists when clients call wanting to when the bus will arrive them.

 

Easy-Go Clients

The majority of our clients are people aged 65 and over. Over the past 12 months, the number of clients under 65 gradually diminished as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was rolled out across the region and client received their NDIS packages.

Despite the reduction in younger people with disability, we still received, on average, 100 new enquiries each month from people looking for transport for themselves or on behalf of another person.

As part of our funding contract, people wishing to use our service must be assessed to ensure they meet the required eligibility criteria. Thereafter, we aim to assess each of our clients each year to ensure the service they are receiving from us is still meeting their needs.

As of 30 June 2017, we have:

  • 3,655 Registered clients aged 65 and over
  • 181 clients with disability aged under 65
  • 47 clients using wheelchairs
  • 47 clients identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

 

Passenger Feedback

Feedback from our clients is important to us. It helps us to identify gaps in our services and improve service delivery.

We have several ways of collecting feedback from our clients:

  • Social outing surveys – each client is given a feedback form to complete about the outing. In 2016-17 over 1,900 feedback forms were received. A summary of the feedback is the table to the right.
  • Telephone surveys – each month 10 passengers, chosen randomly from the database, receive a phone call to ask about the services we offer.

 

Social outing survey results

Survey question Yes
Overall on the day, did you feel safe and comfortable? 99.5%
Did you find the access to the venue easy? 98.5%
Was the food enjoyable and of good quality? 95.5%
Was the vehicle you travelled in comfortable? 99.0%
Did the staff assist you during the day? 99.1%

 

Rating our service out of 10 where 10 is very satisfied and 1 is very dissatisfied:

  • 82% of clients rated our service as 9-10/10
  • 11% of clients rated our service as 8/10
  • 4% of clients rated our service as 7/10
  • 3% clients our service as -6/10

 

The top 3 things our surveyed clients think are the best things about our service are:-

  • Our drivers
  • Our door-to-door service
  • Our reliability

 

We also surveyed our clients for suggestions to improve our service:-

  • 68% said there is nothing they can think of to improve the service
  • 12% offered no suggestions for service improvement
  • 4% would like a more flexible booking system to accommodation urgent and last minute appointments
  • 3% would like health and medical related transport to run later in the afternoon because appointments often run late
  • 2% suggested using our coaches for social outings
  • Other suggested improvements included more railings on the buses; higher seats in the vehicles; offering a weekend service; shorter passenger pick runs on the outings, and being able to choose which vehicle and driver they traveled with
Compliance and Quality Control

Easy-Go Connect is a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

We are endorsed as a deductible gift recipient and public benevolent institution by the Australian Taxation Office and as a charitable fundraising authority under NSW law.

Accreditation

Easy-Go Connect is accredited and conforms to the requirements of the following management systems and standards:

AS_NZS-4801 1 accreditation logo ISO-14001 1 accreditation logo ISO-9001 1 accreditation logo ISC.Logo72_NSW Disability Services Std

 

Easy-Go Connect has a Work Health and Safety (WHS) and Emergency Planning Committee (EPC).

The WHS committee reviews reports and issues relating to WHS throughout the organisation. Committee members are made up of staff from all areas of the workplace. The EPC oversees compliance with planning for emergency situations.

The WHS and EPC Committees for 2016-17 consisted of:

  • Ben Jackson
  • Vicki Burns
  • Faqir Junaid
  • David Burke
  • Paul Fryer

 

Complaints

Easy-Go Connect has a comprehensive complaints management policy that requires all complaints to be registered and managed within a specific time frame.

In 2016-2017 2 complaints were received. Both complaints were from clients. Both were in relation to being ineligible for a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) package and the impact this had on being able to access appropriate transport. Easy-Go has no control over eligibility with regard to the NDIS so both matters were referred to more appropriate services.

 

Training

Easy-Go Connect believes it is important for all team members to maintain and
improve their knowledge and skills base. Training provided by the organisation during the year included:

Drivers:

  • Wheelchair passenger etiquette and using vehicle restraints;
  • Driver Awareness – Low Risk Driving;
  • Individual Driving assessments;
  • CPR and Senior First Aid;
  • Manual Handling.

All Staff:

  • RouteMatch database implementation.

Office based staff:

  • Certificate of Transport Management – Operations Manager and CEO;
  • Unit Costing – Administration Officer;
  • CPR and Senior First Aid;
  • Wheelchair passenger etiquette and using vehicle restraints;
  • Manual Handling.

 

Teams
Administration Team
Position Name Time in service
CEO Ben Jackson 3 months
Administration Officer Faqir Junaid 1 year
Finance Officer Suat Lan (Sannie) Tan 9 years
Volunteer Admin Support Nell Jasiak 4 years Volunteer Receptionist
Volunteer Receptionist Jennifer Saunders 1 year
Client Services
Position Name Time in service
Client Services Manager Vicki Burns 12 years
Client intake and assessment officer Joanna Triandafilis 3 years
Client intake and assessment officer Rhonda Beach 1 years
Volunteer Client Services support Carol Duggan 13 years
Volunteer Client Services support Lorraine Buchanan 4 months
Travel Training
Position Position Time in service
Travel Training Coordinator Rhonda Beach 1 year
Business Development
Position Name Time in service
Business Development & Community Liaison Officer Richard Parker 1 year
Operations
Position Name Time in service
Operations Manager Christine Nafe 5 years
Operations Coordinator Kelly Wilson 13 years
Operations support and administration assistant Rebecca Roach 3 years
Volunteer Operations Margot Cairn 1 month
Driver and Booking Clerk Cheryl Waller 3 years
Driver, Teamleader David Burke 4 months
Driver George Bayes 4 years
Driver Leslie De Belin 12 years
Driver Lynette Dykes 6 years
Driver Karen Fryer 5 years
Driver Paul Fryer 5 years
Driver Karen Gibson 8 years
Driver Wendy Lane 12 years
Driver Gary Livesley 2 years
Driver Roma Price 1 year
Driver Michael Reilly 3. years
Driver Gregory Riddell 2 years
Driver Robert Wyburd 4 years
Driver Deborah Lidbury 6 months
Volunteer Driver Nell Jasiak 4 years
Volunteer Driver Mike Kendall 13 years
Volunteer Driver Guy Saminaden 4 years
Volunteer Bus Assistant Peter Deakin 2 years
Volunteer Bus Assistant Lulu Johnstone 5 years
Volunteer Bus Assistant Cheryl Saminaden 4 years
Volunteer Bus Assistant Franca Tesei 5 years
Volunteer Bus Assistant Lorraine Buchanan 4 months
Volunteer Bus Assistant Scott Cameron 9 months
Volunteer Bus Assistant Rose Li 2 years

 

Independence is easy with Easy-Go Connect
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*Disclaimer : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that this website may contain images of deceased persons. Easy-Go Connect apologises if this causes distress and, if notified, we will work to amend the images