Issues affecting the Community Transport sector.

Like all major areas of the aged care and disability sectors, Community Transport is facing a number of huge challenges as the Government moves further away from block funding.

The steady transition by baby boomers into a sedentary lifestyle is now putting major pressure on service organisations to deal with the increase in demand at a time when Government funding is inversely reducing.

Demand is Spreading

The increased demand for community transport is being compounded by the urbanisation of the general population as the housing boom forces people further away from city centres (and social services – buses, hospitals etc.). Community Transport Organisations (CTOs) are now having to travel further afield to service an ever increasing number of clients with greater costs associated. Never before has planning and forecasting been more important. Despite recent ‘corrections’ in housing values and some sanity returning to fuel prices, the inevitable wave of demand for transport services will continue.

Is Bigger Better?

The move away from grant funding under the NDIS will see new business models required in order to maintain a financially viable operation. The cultural change associated with viewing the client as a “consumer”, will see many CTOs re-examining their organisational goals. With choice firmly in the hands of the “consumer”, larger corporate ideals start to come into play focusing on advertising and marketing. Entry by non-associated corporate players is inevitable as the demand for services increases and a demand-driven market starts to put pressure on costs and provision of service. These pressures will see the importance of board leadership and a concentration on maintaining robust financial control, practices such as Unit Costing begin to come into play.

The Issues Within

While demand and costing will play a major factor in dictating the direction of the industry, the ageing population will also have a more indirect effect on CTOs and their ability to maintain their service provision. With the ACNC claiming over 60% of workers within the charity sector being unpaid volunteers – the value to the industry has been vastly under-rated. The drop-off of volunteers will steadily increase as statistics show that the number of new (younger) volunteers coming into the system is declining. With volunteer labour being such an intrinsic part of the community transport sector, new and innovative plans will have to be developed to accommodate these changes.

Calxa in collaboration with MYOB recently published the Unit Costing for Dummies book to help not-for-profits with their transition.

It pays to Be Connected!

Despite the increasing challenges presently being experienced as the sector transitions into the “Next Stage” – the Community Transport Industry retains its vital role linking the disabled and the elderly with their goal of independence. With most CTOs having a greater connection with their sector than merely a commercial interest, their ability to connect with their clientele at a deeper level sets them apart from those who are only trying to expand their income sources.

Attention to the changing environment is an essential attribute of a sustainable organisation. If you missed our special webinars we delivered for NSW and ACT transport organisations, you can watch the recordings highlighting some of these challenges.

ACT Community Transport – Driving the Road to the NDIS


So…What Can You Do?

Expanding your boundaries at both the geographical and the market level is a huge challenge. Costing these services and getting on top of your cashflow should be top of your list.

Now develop your strategy which will carry your organisation forward.

Previously had a trial with Calxa or your trial has expired? We are happy to reactivate or extend it. Drop us a message and we will get it sorted.