Media Releases

Mr Conlon, you had Better Book your Access Taxi for Christmas 2012 Today

Kelly Vincent MLC can’t book a Taxi on Christmas Day, and neither can anyone else who uses a wheelchair.

When David Bevan referred to the hire car licensing system as “formalised extortion” and “a protection racket” on ABC891 last week he wasn’t far wrong.

The number of Accessible Taxi licences in South Australia have increased by 32% in the last eight years and yet the number of people registered as needing mobility related taxi vouchers has increased by 62%, with nearly 8000 registered users. Over just the past two years, average wait time for access taxis have increased by 66%.

“My office called to book an Access taxi for Christmas Day this week, more than a full month early, but were told unless we were willing to travel before 8am, that there were simply no taxis available” said Ms Vincent.

When one constituent called to book a taxi for Christmas Day last month, she was told – “Oh no, we’re all booked up – you needed to book that six months ago. Her reply “Well, if I had known Mum was going to have a stroke last month, I guess I could have.”

Kelly Vincent strongly urges all able bodied South Australians call Access taxis on 1300 360 940 today to book a taxi for Christmas 2012, just in case they have a stroke or a car accident and need an Access Cab to get to Christmas Lunch next year.

“For the majority who use wheelchairs, particularly those who receive the Disability Support Pension as their sole income source, it can be extremely difficult, even impossible, to use regular cars, trains or buses. The lack of accessible taxis mean that many wheelchair users will simply not be spending Christmas with their families and friends”, said Ms Vincent.

“Wheelchairs users are expected to book their Christmas Day taxis a YEAR in advance – that is totally unacceptable” said Ms Vincent.