While people with disabilities are all around, the world has not opened enough avenues to provide them with a hassle-free life. Being self-sufficient can only exist when others are willing to assist the process. Maitland recently came a step closer to sensitization by adding a fourth wheelchair accessible cab on the roads.
Moving Ahead With the Times
As time pushes the world from one day to the next and as the city’s population continues to blossom, the people of Maitland have demanded that the number of wheelchair accessible vehicles on the road also be increased.
It was just last year in May that Maitland Taxis commissioned their third wheelchair accessible vehicle to roll out on the streets, according to Fairfax Media. Now, a fourth van has been modified so that people with disabilities can travel with as much ease as regular people.
Ron Newton, the Wheelchair Assistance Taxi Service Driver of Maitland Taxi, is all ready to get his new wheelchair-accessible cab out on the streets. The cost of these vans certainly isn’t cheap. Once modified, these vehicles cost about $90,000. However, this investment is certainly worth it as it is taking Maitland closer to sensitization.
How did this pan out?
A total of eleven passengers can fit into these modified cabs or seven passengers along with two wheelchairs. Office manager of Maitland Taxi Service, Julie Mansini, stated that the extra vehicles had been added last year to their existing fleet because they had been informed that residents of Hunter had availed support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
It was during this time that the company also hired more drivers to take on this extra load. These taxis are available every day of the week. For many of the locals in this area, taxis are the only means by which disabled people move around. Being far more accessible than public transport, having more taxis on every route is a very feasible option for the people there.
According to Ron Newton, the demand for these vehicles has also grown with the growing population and in order to help everyone, the need to add a fourth taxi was felt by all. The Chairman and directors of Maitland taxis made the right decision by adding the fourth cab to the fleet and bringing on another driver and they certainly deserve credit for this decision, according to Newton.
After all, with the current prices, putting a regular cab on the road costs as much as $30,000 and adding these cabs would certainly be an even bigger investment which the company was willing to undertake.
Just the installation of the wheelchair hoist is $20,000. This new addition to the fleet is fitted with some of the latest technology. It has satellite navigation that is voice activated, along with a sliding door that automatically opens when the person wants to get in or out, thereby making the process almost entirely hassle-free for people.
The people in the town are glad that Maitland has moved a step closer to sensitization and even regular customers, like small children and elderly people in their 80s and 90s avail the services of these cabs now.