Queensland Government to fund wheelchair-accessible taxis

More than $21 million will be allocated to upgrading Queensland’s taxi fleet.

The Queensland Government has announced a $21 million grant to modernise Queensland’s wheelchair accessible taxi fleet.

The four-year scheme will allot funding to more than 50 taxi operators who will make their vehicles accessible for people with disabilities.

RACQ Principal Technical Researcher Russell Manning said the Club supported the funding as it was critical to meet the transport needs of Queenslanders with disabilities.  

“Wheelchair-accessible taxis are often the only way Queenslanders with disabilities can travel,” Mr Manning said.

“It’s great to see the Queensland Government get behind this initiative and help members of the state who need transport assistance.”

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the four-year grant would help operators upgrade their older vehicles.

"These vehicles can now stay in service, rather than dropping out of the accessible taxi fleet when they become too expensive to maintain or reach the end of their serviceable life,” Mr Bailey said.

"The grants not only aid with replacing written-off vehicles and ageing taxis but also provide funding for existing conventional taxi licence operators to replace their vehicles with wheelchair-accessible taxis in some areas.”

Taxi operators who are deemed successful will receive 50% funding to purchase and modify a new wheelchair-accessible taxi, up to a maximum grant of $45,000.

Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke said the taxis offered a vital service.

“Accessible taxi services are often the only means of transport some people with disability and their families or carers can rely on to ensure they can get to appointments, go shopping and make every day trips most of us take for granted,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“Even losing a few accessible taxis from the fleet places greater demand for these services, reducing flexible transport options for people with disability.

"By reducing the average age of the fleet, these grants are designed to support a sustainable and modern accessible taxi fleet into the future."