In Washington, Prince Georges they have launched taxi’s suitable for wheelchair access.
Patricia Saunders tested out the new taxi’s and when she was inside, she couldn’t control the tears. She had a car accident 30 years ago which meant she had to use a wheelchair and ever since has had difficulty getting in and out of taxis. She can now drive her wheelchair up a ramp and into the taxi that has a 36 inch width door.
Ms Saunders said, “You don’t understand what this service means for people with disabilities. It has been a long journey to get here.”
There have been 15 taxis launched in Prince George’s for the residents of the county to use.
The taxis are operated by Accessible Taxi and have been around since the beginning of June. They are the first of their kind in Prince George’s and are in part funded by a federal grant.
The vehicles have ramps and have 36 by 56 inch doorways and can hold as many as six passengers and wheelchairs.
Within Washington many of the jurisdictions have been offering taxi services that are suitable for those with wheelchairs but Prince George’s, until now, has not.
A taxi Driver for Accessible Taxi, David Mohebbi has said, “Our thinking was to help people who are in need of transportation. Now I am glad to see it finally come to reality.”
This service is available 24/7 and a taxi will be with you within 30 minutes. However, at the moment there are only three drivers that that have qualified to drive these taxis and a further 12 are waiting to take the test.
This is great news for people in the area and it is clear to see that the drivers operating these vehicles are just happy to help. This means they aren’t worried about the cost of being a taxi driver as fuel prices and private hire insurance quotes are on the increase. For this company this is not an issue as they will have a lot of business over the next few months.