Media Release - 12 January 2021

Media release

New ways to book wheelchair accessible taxis.

People with disabilities will soon be able to book a wheelchair accessible taxi using a service staffed by a company that supports people living with disabilities.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) will provide the booking service in the Sydney metropolitan area from 1 March, 2021.

“More than 25 per cent of SCIA’s staff are people with disabilities which puts them in a unique position to understand the best way to assist customers to book wheelchair accessible taxis,” Mr Constance said.

“The service will be implemented in a phased rollout commencing with phone and online bookings. This will then be followed by voice recognition software.”

After a thorough evaluation, the contract to provide the booking service was awarded to SCIA as it was the most innovative and best value for money proposal received by Transport for NSW.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the various booking platforms would allow people to choose the method that best suits them.

“SCIA will also develop digital assistants, instant messaging and mobile applications with estimated vehicle arrival times and driver tracking capabilities,” Mr Ward said.

“The contract will also enable Spinal Cord Injuries Australia to employ more people with disabilities to run this important service.”

Known as the Centralised Booking Service, this contact centre accepts bookings for wheelchair accessible taxis in the Sydney metropolitan area and is a key part of the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme (TTSS).

The TTSS provides participants with subsidised taxi trips up to 50 per cent of the total fare to a maximum of $60 per trip. Drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis receive a $16.50 (incl GST) incentive payment for trips taken by participants in wheelchairs.

The current service is still in operation and there will be no discontinuation of service.

For more information about TTSS, visit transportnsw.info/taxi-subsidy-scheme