IWA are aware that it is extremely difficult to get an accessible taxi in Ireland today with many areas of the country not having any service at all. The Commission for Taxi Regulation was established in 2004, IWA in conjunction with other Disability Organisations, produced a report, which you can download, entitled "Towards an Accessible Taxi Service for All". The purpose of the report is to support and influence the Commission for Taxi Regulator in its role to design and implement an accessible Taxi service.
The principal issues raised in this document are:
- Ratio of accessible taxis
- Booking of accessible taxis
- Specifications for accessible taxis
- Driver training
- Providing incentives for accessible taxi service
- Monitoring, complaints and sanctions
According to The Taxi Regulator, there are currently 25,019 Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSV) of which 17,000 are taxis, with 1,464 having taxi wheelchair licenses. However this figure does not mean that there are 1,464 wheelchair accessible taxis in daily operation. Many of the taxi operators who applied for taxi wheelchair licenses no longer operate them as accessible taxis.
IWA have advocated that the introduction of a subsidy / incentive scheme is necessary in order to achieve an accessible taxis service. IWA are very disappointed that the Commission for Taxi Regulator has only applied for the funding of 200 vehicles under a support subsidy scheme in 2008.
We very much welcome the commitment in the 2007 Programme for Government to have all Taxis accessible in cities by 2010; see www.taoiseach.gov.ie. However, this will not be achievable without significant financial support.
One of the principal objectives of the IWA advocacy team in 2008 is to campaign for an increase in the level of funding available for the purchase of accessible Taxis.