For the past few years, I’ve been spoilt. My hubby has been freelancing from home and therefore, been around to take me wherever I’ve needed to be. He’s now working full-time again and my free taxi service has come to an end. With my own work getting busier, I need an accessible taxi driver with a good attitude. You may wonder why I specify the “good attitude”. Believe me, I’ve had too many bad experiences to count.
Accessible but not welcoming
These days, the vast majority of taxis are accessible. By accessible I mean capable of taking a wheelchair. The problem arises with the attitude of the drivers and this is an issue I’ve experienced for well over twenty years.
Where shall I begin? On numerous occasions, I’ve had taxis totally ignore me because they couldn’t be bothered to help me into their cab. On an equal number of occasions, I’ve had drivers lie to me about being “unable” to get me into the cab. (Even though they legally have to carry a ramp and most are built in now). Once inside a taxi, I’ve had a taxi driver verbally attack me because my wheelchair had messed up a mat they had in the back of their cab. Many drivers have left me wondering if they know how to use their ramps, as they’ve tried to push and shove me about.
So although physically and technically accessible, many drivers make their taxis inaccessible to disabled customers.
Access isn’t just physical
I’ve spent hours looking for an accessible taxi and many firms only provide a phone number – which is not at all accessible! I’ve contacted several companies; some simply don’t reply and others say they don’t have accessible vehicles.
As a self-employed, disabled wheelchair user, this is a major barrier to me being able to take on work. In 2023, I should not have to worry about how I’m going to get to work but sadly, that’s the reality.
So if you’re reading this and can help, please get in touch.