“I welcome the announcement that subsidies for people with disabilities who rely on taxis will increase from 1 July. People with disability will be relieved to have a start date for the subsidy increase, which the Government announced in December last year”, said Ms Jan Barham, Greens NSW spokesperson for Disability.
The Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme provides people with disability a half-price fare. The subsidy is currently capped at $30 per trip. From 1 July 2016, the subsidy will rise to $60, which will provide a full 50% discount on fares up to $120.
“People with disability have campaigned for years to increase the subsidy, which has sat at $30 since 1999. The subsidy should be indexed to CPI so that it doesn’t once again fall behind in covering the cost of taxis.”
“We must ensure there are enough wheelchair accessible taxis on our roads, particularly in light of the legalisation of ridesharing services like Uber. I have also asked the Government about how they will ensure ridesharing companies do not discriminate against people with disabilities, which we have seen cases of in the past few months.”
“Once again I would like to congratulate those who have campaigned to have the subsidy increased. This will have wide-ranging benefits for many people, facilitating participation in their communities and helping them to lead full lives.”
Greens NSW MP and Transport spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi said:
“Transport accessibility should be a priority for the NSW Government. The Government has a responsibility to provide affordable transport options for people who are unable to use the public transport system.”
“While public transport accessibility still has a long way to go, particularly on the train network, the doubling of the taxi transport subsidy is long overdue and a welcome reform,” she said.
For further comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891 or Mike de Waal for Mehreen Faruqi on 0474 437 111.
Government’s Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme and Wheelchair Accessible Taxi announcement: http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/b2b/releases/20160529-wheelchair-accessible-taxis.pdf
Jan’s media release welcoming the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme reform announcement on 17 December 2015: http://www.janbarham.org.au/category/portfolios/disability/