EDF at the Taxi Forum to ensure better services for persons with disabilities

The International Road Union (IRU) organized 4th International Taxi Forum on the 5th of November in Cologne. The theme of the forum was “Taxi industry image: towards a vision of safe and sustainable taxi services for all”.

EDF’s presentation focused on how to ensure better taxi services for customers with disabilities. Being able to use all transport means is essential for the social inclusion of persons with disabilities and is a must for benefiting from the equal rights. Persons with disabilities need the same flexibility in travel options as other citizens in order to be able to fully make use of their fundamental and civil rights to free movement and accessibility of transport.

EDF underlined that there is a need for looking at the transport system from a holistic perspective, thus considering taxis as part of the public transport system. Persons with disabilities often need individually adapted transport options as a consequence of the lack of accessibility of the ordinary public transport system, but also sometimes because of their individual needs. Even with a universally accessible public transport system, taxis will remain essential for many persons in certain situations. EDF went through the existing barriers to taxi services for persons with disabilities and suggested a few solutions.

In his concluding remarks Mr. Hubert Andela, President of the IRU taxi group, stated that IRU shares the EDF belief that accessible services means high quality services. He also underlined that responding to the needs of this group of customers means a great market potential. Finally, Mr. Andela said that IRU appreciates very much the good cooperation with the European Disability Forum. Recently, EDF and IRU adopted joint guidance for taxi drivers on how to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. It was agreed that both organizations should disseminate this guidance as widely as possible.