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Joining Total Mobility

Total Mobility is a nationwide scheme designed to help eligible people with impairments to use appropriate transport to help make their community participation better.

Can I join the scheme?

The definition of eligibility for participation in the scheme is as follows:

An eligible applicant must have an impairment that prevents them from undertaking any one or more of the following five components of a journey unaccompanied, on a bus, train or ferry in a safe and dignified manner:

  • getting to the place from where the transport departs
  • getting on the transport
  • riding securely
  • getting off the transport
  • getting to the destination

The following list of disabilities is an aid to assist decision making on the level of mobility impairment which would qualify for eligibility:

  • Inability to walk to the nearest bus stop or board and alight from a bus for reasons such as pain, respiratory problems, sensory disabilities, neurological fatigue, reliance on complex walking aids, or requiring the constant assistance of another person for mobility.
  • Total loss of or severe impairment of vision preventing the independent use of public passenger transport.
  • Intellectual, cognitive or psychiatric disabilities which may necessitate the constant assistance of another person for travel on public passenger transport.
  • People with impairments who meet the criteria for the Total Mobility scheme, and are able to use bus, train or ferry services some of the time, but not all the time, are eligible for the scheme (e.g. people with impairments such as epilepsy or athritis).
  • People who meet the criteria for the Total Mobility scheme and have an impairment that has lasted, or is expected to last for six months or more are eligible.
  • People with impairments who meet the criteria for the Total Mobility scheme and live in residential care are eligible for the scheme.
  • Children with impairments who meet the criteria for the Total Mobility scheme are eligible.

I want to join the scheme, how do I do that?

Anyone with a disability living in the Bay of Plenty can apply for membership to the Total Mobility Scheme. They must apply using Bay of Plenty Regional Council's standard membership application form and be assessed by an assessor registered with Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

You can only apply for membership through one of the support agencies taking part in the scheme (an accredited agency). Accredited agencies make sure that all forms are completed correctly and returned to Bay of Plenty Regional Council. For a photo ID card,the applicant must give the assessor one recent head and shoulders passport size photograph and a $6.50 card fee. Bay of Plenty Regional Council will return any incomplete forms to the accredited agencies for more information.

A database of people eligible to use the scheme is maintained by Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

All applicants must be registered with Bay of Plenty Regional Council before they are given Total Mobility taxi vouchers.

In an appeal situation, the Total Mobility Management Committee makes the final decision if a person is eligible for membership of the scheme.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council doesn't charge applicants a membership fee to join the scheme. Some agencies may charge the applicant a fee for joining their organisation, or charge a one off fee for assessment and registration of the applicant. Any fees to meet the agency's costs are to be paid directly to the agency by the applicant. The cost of a photo ID card is in addition to the agency's fees and is payable to Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Who do I contact if I want to be assessed for the Total Mobility Scheme?

The following documents have information about assessing agencies, based on location.

What will happen after you receive my application for the scheme and photo ID card?

The application will be processed as quickly as possible. We will contact both the applicant and agency when we receive the forms.

As soon as the application has been processed, the client will be contacted and told of the outcome of the application in writing. Successful applicants will receive a photo ID card. The agency can then supply the registered client with taxi vouchers. It will take approximately two weeks to register a successful applicant and issue him/her with a photo ID card.

How will you hold and use my information from the forms?

All information given through the application process will be held in a database by Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

We will make sure that all names and personal information remain private and confidential. Internal access to the database will be restricted to appropriate Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff only. The officers able to access the information will be the Land Transport Manager, Transport Planner and administration staff dealing with Total Mobility. Information technology officers will have access for data security purposes only.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council collects statistical information to report on the Total Mobility Scheme and to plan for its future. Statistical information will be held in a separate database from the information that is used to assess the applicant's eligibility for membership. It will not identify the applicant as an individual.

A private company will process the photo ID card. The company that produces the card will need to scan the applicant's photo into computer memory for production and reproduction of cards and will need to keep a record of the application form.

Do I need to show evidence of my disability?

Applicants may need to show evidence of their disability if the assessor isn't familiar with the applicant's disability history. If this is the case, the assessor will ask the applicant's permission to find out more information about his/her disability. The applicant should give the assessor the name of his/her caregiver, ACC assessor, GP, specialist, physiotherapist, psychiatrist, social worker or occupational therapist, etc. Refusal to cooperate with the assessor may prevent the assessor from completing the assessment and not allow the applicant to take part in the scheme.

What is the difference between temporary and permanent registration?

You will be assessed as having either a permanent or a temporary disability. If you qualify for Total Mobility and are assessed as having a permanent disability, you will be registered as a 'life-member' of the scheme and will be given a photo ID card that only has to be renewed every five years.

If you are assessed as having a temporary disability and qualify for Total Mobility, you will be registered as a temporary member. You will be issued with a temporary photo ID card and given a date for reassessment. A month before the due date of your reassessment, you will be sent a reminder. Unless your registration is extended, your registration and temporary photo ID card and will expire five working days after your reassessment date. If your temporary registration is extended you will be issued with a replacement card. This process may be repeated as often as necessary.

Can I be part of the scheme even if I'm getting transport-related assistance from another official source?

Total Mobility taxi vouchers may only be used for journeys that are not covered by travel income or assistance from another official source. Using vouchers while on other financial assistance ('double-dipping') is not allowed.

Applicants that receive travel income or assistance from another official source must say if they receive general financial assistance, or what journeys they receive financial assistance for.

Note: Applicants that receive general financial assistance may not be eligible for Total Mobility at all.

I still have questions. Where can I get more information?

For more information about the Total Mobility scheme, contact us - details below.