24 Aug 2012, 12.45PM
Original thread created on 23 May 2012, 6.09PM
Title: MCYS to Give Grants for Wheelchair-Accessible Taxis
Wheelchair users may look forward to an alternative ride to replace the London cab when it phases out next March. According to a report by The Straits Times
, the Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) is offering grants to taxi operators to defray part of the operating cost for cabs that can accommodate larger and high-back motorised wheelchairs.
A MCYS spokesman explained that the grant would offset the COE premium and Additional Registration Fee of wheelchair-accessible taxis. The ministry will also reimburse the amount equivalent to the Quota Premium or Prevailing Quota Premium, which is the cost of renewing a COE, on the date of vehicle registration - whichever is lower. For a 30-vehicle fleet, the grant is projected to be about $3 million, elaborated the spokesman.
Presently, only 15 London cabs are available for use by these commuters. Initially, due to be phased out this year, the Government extended its lease by a year to assuage concerns from wheelchair users who rely on the London cabs to move around. The licenses for the London Cabs are expected to expire in March 2013.
With these grants, taxi operators are welcomed to submit their formal proposals for such taxi fleets before June 25 and MCYS hopes to see up to 30 of such vehicles available by next year. Announced by Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth & Sports, Mr Chan Chun Sing during a visit to the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD) in Tiong Bahru on Tuesday, these grants are the first of its kind offered to encourage cab companies into providing such services here.
In addition to the grants, MCYS will also be working with the taxi operators to come up with a longer-term plan “whereby the service is more sustainable”.
How can we encourage taxi operators to provide a more sustainable service for wheelchair users? Share with us your thoughts!
Updated on 24 August 2012
Taxi operator SMRT has been awarded $3.1 million to operate 30 wheelchair accessible taxis for the disabled and elderly.
Thirty London cabs will be added to SMRT's fleet with the grant, with the first batch of 15 taxis to go on the road by March next year, before the phasing out of the existing London Cabs. The remaining 15 will be in service by next August.
Announcing the grant yesterday, the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) said users can expect greater convenience and service. One change is that the new cabs can be booked two days in advance, instead of at least three with the existing London cabs.
SMRT said the grant, which works out to around S$100,000 per taxi, will be a much-needed lifeline to absorb some of the costs involved, such as the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) and Additional Registration Fee (ARF), in purchasing the new vehicles.
What more can be done by operators and the authorities to alleviate transport concerns for the disabled and elderly in the long run?