15 February 2011

Greens call for stand alone wheel chair transport service

| johnboy
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The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan is making the call for an end to disability transport integration and the start of a segregated service.

ACT Greens Transport spokesperson, Amanda Bresnan MLA will place on the notice paper a motion calling on the ACT Government to establish a dedicated Wheelchair Accessible Taxi (WAT) service with salaried drivers that would not service other patrons.

“I am proposing this service in an Assembly motion because the Government has not accepted that the current system provides insufficient incentive for drivers of WATs to prioritise people with disabilities who use wheelchairs,” Ms Bresnan said today

“The service we propose will have dedicated vehicles for wheelchair patrons only, with salaried drivers that do not rely on chasing the most profitable fares to survive.

“While the current ‘lift fee’ incentive system is in place, we will continue to see poorly-paid drivers chasing fares, instead of providing this essential transport service to people in the ACT with disabilities.

“Our suggested model provides guarantees for mobility to people with disabilities, which means they can get to and from work, attend appointments, do shopping and more without worrying about how long the taxi will take to arrive or if it will arrive at all”.

“This will also go towards securing a liveable income for drivers which must be part of providing a professional, reliable service.

“While the Government has been tinkering with a broken system, the ACT Greens are proposing a comprehensive, proven new system which works in other cities,” Ms Bresnan said.

While a practical solution to the problem (subject to cost), it is a big change in direction for disability service provision.

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How about sorting out the accessible bus service first so there are reliably accessible buses when there are scheduled to be? And not just on the intertown routes – people have to get to the interchanges by their local bus too.

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