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London to prevent vehicles for hire from charging disabled people extra fees

FILE PHOTO. Global News

 

The City of London has changed its regulations governing vehicles for hire, in order to ensure people with disabilities are not charged extra fees.

Under the new regulations, all cabs, accessible cabs and limousines will not be able to charge a higher fee to people with a disability for things that include having to store a mobility aid like a wheelchair.

The new regulation is meant to enforce the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, which already makes it illegal to charge someone with a disability an extra fee.

Disability rights advocate Jeff Preston says it’s a problem he has personally faced in more than one city.

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“I have had times where cab drivers have told me there is a service fee or an additional fee because it takes longer to load me or unload me from the back of their vehicle,” Preston said, “and some cab drivers simply refuse to pick me up.”

Preston added he has heard of fees ranging anywhere from $10 to upwards of $50 in some places.

“Unfortunately, we have this problem around the world, where we expect disabled people to pay more simply because their needs are different then the standard care,” he said.

Nicole Musicco, the city’s municipal policy specialist, said the changes were made due to some recent complaints.

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“There were some concerns received by the city from costumers requiring accessible vehicle for high services who had unfortunately been charged an extra fee for the storage of mobility aids,” she said.

Under the new regulations, all vehicles are required to display a public notice informing riders of their rights.

Musicco added if a customer runs into a situation in which they are being charged an additional fee, they should contact the municipal law enforcement division so they can investigate.

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Drivers who are caught not following the new regulations will face either a fee or penalty.

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