Jan Barham, Greens MP and spokesperson on Disability has applauded the NSW Government’s decision to double the subsidy available to people with disability to help them cover the cost of taxi transport.
“This is welcome news for people with disability in NSW who rely on taxis for transport. It will provide people with the financial assistance needed to be independent in their local communities”, said Ms Barham.
The Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme provides assistance of 50% of the taxi fare up to a maximum of $30 for people with a disability who cannot access public transport. The NSW Government has announced it will increase the cap to $60 and also boost incentives to put more wheelchair accessible taxis on the road.”
“People with disability have campaigned for years to have this subsidy increased, which has been capped at $30 since 1999.”
“In 2013, I put forward a motion calling for an increase to the subsidy, which was supported by the NSW Legislative Council.”
“Last year, I hosted a forum in Parliament to hear from people with a disability who relied on taxis for transport. The message was clear: the subsidy no longer reflected the real cost of using taxis. The high out-of-pocket costs incurred by people who have no other transport option but taxis was preventing them from engaging in employment, education and maintaining their social connections.”
“This increase is especially important for people in regional NSW who often have little or no access to public transport and often pay large taxi fares because of long travel distances.”
The subsidy increase was announced as part of the NSW Government’s response to the Point to Point Transport Taskforce report on taxis, hire cars and ridesharing in NSW.
“I call on the NSW Government to index the subsidy by CPI annually, so that we don’t, once again, see the subsidy eroded over time. I also call on the Government to announce a start date for the increased subsidy to give people with disability certainty and clarity, particularly in light of the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.”
“I congratulate all those who have campaigned to have the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme increased.”
For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891