One way of making transportation easier, safer and more convenient for the whole community is to make more, or maybe all, taxicabs wheelchair-accessible. And that’s what Montgomery aims to do.
The county officials of Montgomery recently announced their goal of making all of their taxicabs wheelchair-accessible. This includes the incorporation of lifts and ramps on cabs so that it will be easier for wheelchair users to get onto the vehicle. They further stated that they are aiming to achieve such ambitious goal by 2025.
The County Council has been reviewing bills issued and proposed regarding transportation and development. And one of the things they approved is the improvement of taxicab service. This then requires Montgomery’s Department of Transportation to devise and develop a plan or strategy on how to raise the number of taxicabs that are wheelchair-friendly. And this should be accomplished within a span of just 10 years.
The Council also approved a bill that authorizes the issuance of licenses to make other vehicles wheelchair-accessible. These licenses, about 50 of them, are given to driver-owned cooperatives. The goal is to encourage them to innovate and upgrade their vehicles to accommodate differently-abled people and join in the expansion of the accessible transportation.
The Council stated that these bills will be beneficial to all – drivers, consumers, the industry, seniors, the disabled community and even the low-income residents. They also emphasized that the reforms will not only help cab drivers in the county but will also put special attention and consideration on the transportation needs of differently-abled people.
Another transportation improvement measure the Council approved is the additional charge or payment on transportation network services in the county. This means that transport services like Lyft and Uber will pay a surcharge of 25 cents. The additional fee will be used to help compensate for the expenses on retrofitting and purchasing accessible taxicabs. The surcharge will also be used to fund the delivery of handicapped-accessible taxi services in Montgomery.
With Montgomery’s goal, it is safe to imagine that the county, as well as their transport services, will be a safer and more convenient place for differently-abled individuals. And when such goal is achieved, other countries should also look at it and somehow consider doing the same.