Wheelchair-Accessible-Taxis by Rick914Driver


									  Wheelchair Accessible Taxis And The ECMT-
       IRU Design Recommendations
"Taxis play a critical role in the provision of personalized door-to-door transport services for
healthy, elderly, and people with a physical disability. Taxis are of particular benefit to people
living with disabilities since they are widely available, can be accessed on a 24 hour basis
and offer personalized services. Over the last couple of years, the accessibility to public forms
of transport such as buses and trams by the elderly and the disabled has greatly improved.
However, access to taxis remains a challenge to most people living with disabilities. This has
been blamed on the organization and structure of the taxi subsector. Of particular interest is the
predominant taxi vehicle design used in most countries, which makes it difficult for most elderly
and disabled people to use.

The European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) and the International Road
Transport Union (IRU) came up with a raft of taxi design recommendations that will ultimately
result in wheelchair accessible taxis. These recommendations are expected to be implemented
in the not so distant future. However, it would be practically impossible to expect the
recommendations to be implemented over the next few years. The design recommendations
appreciate the fact that it would be impossible to provide for all wheelchair users without limiting
the operational viability of the taxi especially as regards other passengers and the operator.
There will still be a number of commuters who will be unable to access the improved taxis due
to the nature of their physical disability or their wheelchair size and will thus require the use of
specialized door-to-door services.

The recommendations are divided up into two design levels:

The first design level encompasses wheelchair accessible taxis and other accessible vehicles
that are capable of carrying most wheelchair users.

The second design level will be composed of standard accessible taxis. These vehicles are
designed for people with disabilities but not wheelchair users. They can only carry a wheelchair
user who will ultimately be able to transfer to the taxi seat.

It has been recommended that taxi fleets offering regular services have a certain number
of vehicles conforming to the two aforementioned design levels. However, the proportion
of wheelchair accessible taxis to the standard models will ultimately depend on the city and
country of operation. Specific features in these taxis include:

Passenger door height and width.

Taxi headroom.

Wheelchair user allocated space.

Ramp gradient that is acceptable for ease of wheelchair access.

Grab handles.

Improved seat design.
Interior lighting.

Audible taxi meters.

Induction loops.

Color contrast."

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