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Unique policy in New Zealand mandates taxis to make at least 30 wheelchair passenger trips a month

Updated: Jul 16, 2023

The Rockliff Liberal Government in New Zealand has implemented new measures to improve the accessibility and availability of wheelchair taxis, aiming to address challenges faced by customers in booking such services.

In response to these concerns, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson, announced the introduction of new rules that mandate a minimum of 30 wheelchair passenger trips per month for each wheelchair accessible taxi.

"Previously, there was no minimum requirement at all," highlighted Mr. Ferguson during the official statement.

To further encourage drivers to transport wheelchair-dependent passengers, an additional payment of $10 (£4.80) per trip will be provided to drivers, with an equal amount paid to the operators.

Additionally, the mandatory retirement age of wheelchair accessible taxis, which previously stood at 12 years, has been removed. Now, as long as annual safety checks are conducted, these vehicles can continue operating, aiming to increase the number of available wheelchair taxis on the road.

Non-compliance with these new regulations can result in fines of up to $9,050 (£4,370), providing a strong incentive for drivers and operators to adhere to the rules.

Minister for Disability Services, Jo Palmer, highlighted the significance of these new laws in prioritising accessibility for individuals requiring wheelchair accessible taxis.

Minister Palmer said: "I know how important increased access to wheelchair taxis is to the community, and our Government is proud to be delivering solutions.”

The objective is to ensure that individuals with mobility issues do not have to face unnecessary wait times and can access wheelchair accessible transportation promptly.


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