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The Taxicard - Subsidised Barrier-Free Taxi Use in London (UK)
Background & Objectives
A measure to enhance the accessibility of public transport in London was the introduction of “the most accessible taxicab” as the standard taxicab. The National Disability Discrimination Act forced that action in 1995. The taxi can be used at any time by a wide range of customers: non-disabled, wheelchair users, walking impaired people, parents with kids, etc. The new cabs are higher and wider than the previous ones and are equipped among other things with access for power chairs, swing out seats with strategically placed handles, an integrated child seat, an induction loop for communication with the driver and a pull-out under-floor ramp. The taxis can be hired directly on the street but also pre-booked by telephone.
As a method of subsidised door-to-door transport, “Taxicard” was introduced to increase the independence and the mobility of disabled people who have serious impairments. It provides user subsidies directly for each taxi trip so that in most cases there is only a flat fare to pay (up to a certain maximum - depending on the daytime - boroughs pay the rest of the regular fare). As a result, Taxicard holders get an average discount of 80% on their taxi ride costs.
The introduction of accessible cabs accompanied the launch of a “Disability Equality and Customer Care Training for London’s Taxi Drivers.” It is developed by experienced Disability Equality Trainers who are disabled people from diverse backgrounds. The programme takes place as a consultation with a focus group of disabled taxi-users and licensed taxi drivers (disabled or non-disabled).
The main aim is to help drivers deliver professional service and meet legal duties. The training course is divided into the following sessions: What is Customer Care?, Understanding Disability Discrimination, The Law, Assisting Disabled People, Questions and Evaluation.
Links for further information:
EMTA: Workshop on Door-to-Door Services
DownloadsFiche_London.pdf (229 kByte)
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This Case Study is part of the European urban mobility and transport best practice collection from Eltis - www.eltis.org.