Our View: Taxi firms hurting wheelchair users worst possible response to ridesharing

The most vulnerable users of transit and taxis are caught in a conflict they had nothing to do with

The fight between taxi firms and ridesharing companies may now harm some innocent victims – disabled people in the Lower Mainland.

Taxi firms are threatening to slash the subsidy paid to the drivers of accessible cabs, those that come with lifts for users of wheelchairs and scooters.

Getting around Metro Vancouver can be extraordinarily difficult for people with mobility issues. HandyDART buses must be requested well ahead of time and may not be available. Regular public transit may be accessible, but is not always convenient. A percentage of cabs are accessible – but only a percentage, resulting in longer waits.

Keep in mind that the cost of a private vehicle retrofitted with a ramp or wheelchair lift and other modifications can easily be double or triple the cost of an unmodified vehicle.

If the best aspect of ridesharing apps promised to be low costs and convenience, the worst aspect was that they would not be required to accommodate disabled customers.

The province imposed a small fee on each ride to help pay for better accessible transit, but it’s unclear as yet where that money will be spent, or if enough will be raised from the 30 cent per trip charge to generate a useful amount of revenue.

Now, with Uber and Lyft doing nothing for disabled riders, the taxi industry has apparently decided to turn on its most vulnerable customers and make their lives more difficult.

This is unjustifiable. It’s the worst possible response the taxi industry could have made in this situation. The provincial government should intervene to ensure that transport options remain in place for disabled people.

–M.C.

EditorialsLangleyLyfttaxiUber

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley Advance Times Arts Calendar: Feb. 21, 2020 edition

The arts calendar is published Fridays and the community calendar is in the Wednesday print edition

New Alberta forward joins Vancouver Giants’ ranks

new left-handed 18-year-old is a familiar face to Giants head coach Michael Dyck

LETTER: Baffled by warning signs in Langley

Reader sees electronic signage as a waste of money and ‘not very useful’

Mugging with airsoft gun results in Langley school lockdown

Police found the weapon and a stolen phone later

Get your say on Langley Township’s budget

Surveys are available online now

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Brand new Tesla crashes into Surrey store front, mounts gas line

Driver was heading to the Autoplan store, straight off the lot

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Most Read