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Improving Access to Taxis

Taxis are an essential mode of transport for disabled and older people. The combination of the personal service they offer, their wide availability and door-to-door operations enable them to respond particularly well to the travel needs of people with disabilities. Although several countries have made progress in improving the accessibility of taxi services, much remains to be done. This joint ECMT/IRU study examines factors relating to the design and manufacture of taxi vehicles and considers practical measures to increase the production and use of accessible taxis. Recommendations on taxi vehicle design take a two-tiered approach: Type One for wheelchair accessible taxis, Type Two for standard accessible taxis.

The recommendations are intended to be phased in within a reasonable time period – not necessarily to be implemented immediately. The study points out that good vehicle design alone is not sufficient to ensure accessibility, and explores other factors, including infrastructure and driver training, that, together with appropriate design, will lead to the development of a taxi service that is genuinely fully accessible.

The report is the fruit of extensive consultation with Europeanbased motor vehicle manufacturers and conversion specialists, disabled people, representatives of the European taxi trade and national governments. It starts with the needs of disabled users, and then takes account of what would be feasible for vehicle manufacturers and what would be acceptable to the taxi trade. The recommendations provide practical guidance, which if adopted by governments, vehicle manufacturers and operators, will be of considerable benefi t to the more than 45 million disabled people who live in Europe.