Making wheelchair taxis more accessible

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport

The Rockliff Liberal Government has taken further action to increase the accessibility and availability of wheelchair taxis.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson, said new rules have been developed in response to concerns that customers were having difficulty in booking wheelchair accessible taxis.

“To ensure more wheelchair accessible taxis are available when needed by wheelchair reliant passengers, we have introduced new rules to mandate a minimum of 30 wheelchair passenger trips be provided by each wheelchair accessible taxi per month,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Previously, there was no minimum at all.

“In addition, to incentivise drivers to transport wheelchair dependent passengers, they will be paid an extra $10 per trip loading, with an equal amount also paid to the operator.

“To keep wheelchair accessible taxis on the road for longer, the mandatory retirement age of the vehicles, which was 12 years, has been removed as long as annual safety checks are conducted.

“If drivers or operators ignore the rules, fines of up to $9050 can be applied.

“Ideally there should always be a wheelchair accessible taxi when one is needed and those with mobility issues shouldn’t have to wait longer than anyone else.”

Minister for Disability Services, Jo Palmer, said these new laws will prioritise people who specifically need an accessible taxi.

“I know how important increased access to wheelchair taxis is to the community and our Government is proud to be delivering solutions,” Minister Palmer said.

“Planning ahead is a necessity for wheelchair users and our Government wants to ensure we are supporting people to go about their daily lives whether that’s going to work, going to an appointment, or just enjoying the Tasmanian way of life.”

/Public Release. View in full here.