Better disabled accessibility needed for B.C. taxi, ride-hailing industry, committee says

Click to play video: 'New B.C. program aims to create more accessible taxis'
New B.C. program aims to create more accessible taxis
RELATED VIDEO: A big boost for B.C. residents with mobility challenges. The province has announced millions for more accessible taxis. The money is coming from a fee introduced when ride-hailing was approved, but as Emily Lazatin reports, the supports will be limited to the taxi industry. – Feb 1, 2023

A B.C. legislature committee looking into taxi and ride-hailing services has issued recommendations, including measures to improve accessibility for people with disabilities and services in small and rural communities.

The cross-party committee that was appointed a year ago to review the Passenger Transport Act makes 34 recommendations to the legislature in its report released Thursday.

Committee members say they are concerned people with disabilities face systemic barriers and discrimination when they try to access transport services and changing that is a priority.

Committee chair Mable Elmore says people with disabilities need significant improvements to driver training, services and the administration of accessibility grants.

The committee also recommends that taxi companies be allowed to use an online platform for bookings without having to pay for a separate ride-hailing licence.

It says there should be a unified code of conduct for all taxi and ride-hailing drivers, as well as a formal complaint process for passengers who have suffered discrimination.

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The committee also calls for exploration into supporting smaller local ride-hailing companies, including those in rural and remote communities, with the possibility of “developing an alternative framework” for those firms.

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