It is possible to get either banned or penalised for not sticking to certain regulations when providing a disabled taxi service.
So if you are a taxi driver in Chesterfield it is imperative you know and understand the regulations for a disabled taxi service clearly for the well-being of your customer but also what can be a profitable market segment to target.
You may think the following list regarding taxis for wheelchair users and disabled customers is just common sense and common courtesy, and it is, but a quick search of the internet will bring up a whole bunch of news stories including ‘the driver that faces losing his license for not securing his 89 year old passenger into his wheelchair’ and ‘Wythenshawe cab driver who shunned disabled passenger’ (who now faces a £1000 fine).
So what are these regulations?
The rules are only slightly different for black cabs and private hire vehicles.
- All hackney cabs must be wheelchair accessible.
- No black cab drivers can refuse to offer a disabled taxi service and must also carry a customer’s wheelchair or guide dog if accompanied by one.
- The meter should not start until the wheels start turning.
The only difference between private hire and hackney is that if the private hire vehicle is not wheelchair accessible then they don’t have to offer a disabled taxi service. Other than that, if the private hire vehicle is wheelchair accessible then the same rules as above apply. This comes under the equality act 2010.
Also under the act, all drivers with wheelchair accessible taxis must,
- Ensure passengers are seated in their wheelchair while traveling
- Carry the wheelchair separately if a request to do so is made by the passenger.
- Charge the same tariff or equivalent set fare.
- Take all the necessary steps to ensure the passengers comfort and safety.
- Assist the passenger when getting in and out of the vehicle ‘as is reasonably required’.
- Not start the meter running until the wheels start turning.
- Carry any assistance dogs, allow them to travel with the passenger and not charge any additional fees for the service.
Why is it important?
Clearly sticking to the rules is important when running a disabled taxi service if you want to keep out of trouble. Having wheelchair friendly taxis and following regulations is especially important if you make your living as a taxi driver who works with disabled passengers. Making sure you look after your passengers, making them feel safe by securing them properly and driving carefully and building a relationship with them through helping them in and out of the vehicle can lead to much repeat business.
Disabled passengers report finding it difficult to find cab drivers that are not only aware of all the rules in how to transport disabled passengers, but ones that really take good care of them and build a trusting relationship. Disabled passengers are among some of the most frequent taxi customers and if special attention is paid to this segment of the market repeat phone calls will be sure to follow.
Get in contact today!
If you’re looking for a reliable wheelchair friendly taxi company, get in contact with Door 2 Door today to see how we can meet your needs for a disabled taxi service. Call us on 01246 202020 or fill in the contact form here.