Advocates for disabled and elderly people at a forum yesterday urged taxi operators to provide “barrier-free” taxi services to physically handicapped and senior passengers.
Jacky Hsu (許朝富), a representative of the League of Welfare Organizations for the Disabled, said the nation’s transportation system was still unfriendly to passengers with physical disabilities.
The number of low-floor buses and rehabilitation buses cannot meet the demand from handicapped passengers, Hsu said.
If all taxi operators offered “barrier-free” services and trained their drivers to serve handicapped passengers, the government would save money and this would increase revenue for the drivers, while enabling people with physical disabilities to travel more easily, he said.
Federation for the Welfare of the Elderly deputy director Lee Bih-tzy (李碧姿) said many elderly people were afraid to take cabs because some of the drivers had “a bad attitude” or simply did not know how to assist elderly passengers.
Some elderly people are also concerned about safety issues and costs, she said.
The forum was hosted by the National Federation of Taxi Industry Reform, whose goal is to create a new generation of taxi services through the forum.
Federation spokesperson Peng Chih-yuan (彭芝園) said they would consider tapping into this uncharted sector of the market.
Department of Highways and Railway Director-General Chen Yen-po (陳彥伯) said the ministry would evaluate the proposal for barrier-free taxi services and assist taxi operators in launching the service if possible.