Victoria’s peak social advocacy body VCOSS has cautiously welcomed changes to the state’s taxi and ridesharing system.
The Victorian Government will deregulate the sector and buyback some traditional taxi licences, paving the way for new services like Uber to begin formal operations.
As part of today’s announcement, the Government committed to establishing a $25 million Disability Accessibility Fund to better support the delivery of accessible transport services for people with disability.
A Commissioner for Disability Services will also be appointed within Taxi Services Commission, and there’ll be a departmental review of how people with disability access and pay for individual transport services.
“These are positive measures to assist people with disability to access car services,” Victorian Council of Social Service CEO Emma King said.
“But there’s a lot of detail yet to be worked out.”
Specifically Ms King said the government must ensure people who use wheelchairs (which currently aren’t supported by ridesharing) don’t become ‘captive users’ to the taxi system—starved of choice and competition—but instead receive the same level of service as the rest of the community, and that every person with disability is treated with respect.
“The government has indicated that it intends to undertake further work to ensure the needs of people with disability are met.”
“VCOSS believes it is critical the government works directly with disability advocacy organisations and people with first-hand experience of disability as they reshape the hire car sector to ensure a safe, accessible and affordable service.”
— Jacinta Allan (@JacintaAllanMP) August 23, 2016
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