Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
There are an estimated 11 million people in the UK with a disability, 2 million are blind and 1.2 million are wheelchair users. As the population ages those numbers may well increase. That is a huge pool of potential taxi customers, many of whom have problems with their mobility. Those people often rely on a taxi service for far more of their daily journeys than the occasional night out of their non-disabled neighbours.
It is not only disabled individuals who are interested in accessible taxis. There are also numerous schools, hospitals, day centres and charities who offer contract work to taxi drivers and taxi firms for regular journeys to get their customers to and from their homes.
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles as Taxis
A wheelchair accessible vehicle is the starting point for being able to offer a taxi service to the disabled community. You will need a taxi that is converted, or purpose built to offer:
– A Ramp of Powered Lift
– Space and height inside the vehicle for a wheelchair
– Locking mechanism or safety straps to hold the wheelchair in place
Other options to consider include
– Inductions loops to help deaf taxi customers hear you
– A Swivel Out seat to help if the passenger can get out of their wheelchair
– Interior lighting options to help the visually impaired
Some councils regulate the options a wheelchair accessible taxi should offer, particularly whether the ramp should be extended from a side, sliding door or from the rear door. You should check with your council before you purchase a vehicle.
Your responsibilities as a Taxi Driver
Due to the discrimination that disabled people have experienced there are now some legal obligations if you run a wheelchair accessible taxi. You cannot refuse to carry a disabled passenger if your vehicle is able to carry them. You must charge your disabled and non-disabled customers the same fares. Finally, unless you have a medical exemption from the local council you must carry an assistance/guide dog and the dog must go free.
Possible Vehicles to act as a Taxi
If you think a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle is for you then popular models are
Volkswagen Caddy Euro 6 Taxi
Citroen Berlingo Euro 6 Taxi
Vauxhall Vivaro Euro 6 Taxi
The Cab Detective can help you find one of these vehicles. Please call us on 01268 799541 or request a free call back below.