The Worlds Wheelchair Culture
Back to the Archives

Could this be the handicapped taxi of the future? See how it works at the bottom of this page.

We're in cul-de-sac with taxis, say disabled
By Tsabeng Nthite

of The Pretoria News


Using public transport is hard enough when you're fit and healthy but, when you're in a wheelchair, it can become virtually impossible.

Pintias Nkuna, a paraplegic who became wheelchair-bound after he was robbed and shot at the age of 22, said he was recently refused access to a taxi in Mamelodi because he was disabled.

"I signalled a taxi going to town. The driver pulled over to the side of the road and asked me who I thought I was as he has no room for disabled people. I was stunned by his remarks. I've had several encounters with taxi drivers, but this was the worst.

"I use taxis every day and it is a battle for me to get to and from work. I don't need this added challenge with the transport system in my life.

"The taxi driver's attitude undermines the government's programme and concerted efforts for integration and participation of persons with disabilities in social and economic activities. I feel that my constitutional rights have been violated."

Nkuna, 30, who is now working at Unisa's Disability Centre as an advocacy and liaison co-ordinator, said it was one thing for the government to implement the taxi recapitalisation programme, but another to change the attitudes of taxi drivers. "The inaccessibility of the public transport system is alarming.

"There has been a lot of transformation. But one sector that lags behind is transforming the mindset of the so-called able-bodied. There is an urgent need to eradicate stereotypes," said Nkuna.

He has filed a formal complaint with the Mamelodi Taxi Association but has not received feedback.

This article was originally published in the The Pretoria News on December 20, 2006

Independent Online 2005. All rights reserved. IOL publishes this article in good faith but is not liable for any loss or damage caused by reliance on the information it contains. Permission to post requested by Paralinks; a not-for-profit-grassroots-community-information  directory and clearing house.

Here is perhaps the future solution for wheelchair users and taxis!

This from the Paralinks Crew: When we read the above article we instantly thought of this new accessible taxi that has been brought too our attention recently. This has the potential for creating an independent handicapped Taxi Service catering to folks who use wheelchairs. the options and possibilities are endless. Check out the Standard Taxi Web Site: