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Going out on the roads or using public transport is not exactly a cakewalk for wheelchair users in India. The roads can be considered equivalent to an obstacle course marked with potholes even surfaces, superfluous traffic of two-wheelers and four-wheelers, footpaths are non-existent or mostly occupied by small vendors and so on. The concept of having ramps is alien to our public buses and trains. Metros, that run in a handful of cities, are the only exceptions.

Privileged wheelchair users can modify their personal cars with a ramp and the not so privileged can wait for the actual rollout of Accessible India campaign. Most of us not satisfied any of the above two options make do with our own jugaads to go around.

Thankfully, there is another option of hiring a wheelchair accessible taxi in some cities of India.

I have written a separate blog about the ones available in Mumbai. It features Ezy Mov, Samartha Travels, Mobicab and Access 4 All.

Below are the details of wheelchair accessible taxis available in Bangalore, Goa, Coimbatore and Ahmedabad. There are none in New Delhi:

Kickstart, Bangalore

Their fleet of modified cars includes a Toyota Etios Liva with a front seat that swivels out and Maruti Suzuki Wagon R with a ramp.

Costs: Hire the taxi for a day i.e. 8 hrs, 80 kms for Rs 3000, thereafter it’s Rs 20 per extra km, Rs 200 per extra hour.

They have multiple packages ranging from office pickup and drop to airport transfers to long/ outstation travel and so on. A detailed breakup of their costs is available on their website here.

How to book: Call +91-8105600445 or +91-80-32327777, email info@kickstartcabs.com

Website: http://www.kickstartcabs.com/

Check out this introduction video of their taxis suitable for disabled & elderly passengers:

Mobility India, Bangalore

They have two vehicles specifically remodeled to suit the needs of people with disabilities and senior citizens. Wheelchairs can easily go straight into the vehicles, with the help of a manual-foldable ramp.

Costs: Their minimum charge is Rs 400 for up to 20 kms, thereafter it’s Rs 20 per extra km.

How to book: Call +91-80-26494444 / +91-80-26597337 or email e-mail@mobility-india.org

Website: http://mobility-india.org/programmes/education/taxi-for-wheel-chair-users/

**Although Mobility India website ranks high in Google search, my experience with booking a taxi has been bad. I have never got a response to emails. Most of the time nobody picks up the phone. Even if someone does pick up they don’t give any clarity on booking the taxi. It is extremely painful to speak with them. I have never been able to book a cab with them.

Freedom Cab, Goa

Freedom Cab is Goa’s first and only wheelchair accessible taxi service. They have modified a Maruti Ecco with a ramp so that a wheelchair can enter the taxi from the side. The taxi can accommodate 4 people in addition to the wheelchair user.

Costs: Hire the taxi for a day i.e. 8 hrs, 80 kms for Rs 2000.

Their rates are negotiable. If you want to use the taxi for less duration, the cost will be reduced.

How to book: Call Sainath on +91-9637895808

Website: They don’t have a website, but you can visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FreedomCab/  

Check out the interior of Freedom Cab’s wheelchair accessible taxi in this video:

Sarathi, Coimbatore

The wheelchair accessible taxi service ‘Sarathi’ is an initiative of the Swarga Foundation. It provides a safe, convenient and reliable commute for any individual with a mobility impairment or senior citizens to any location of choice within and outside the city.

The interiors of the van have been redesigned to accommodate one wheelchair, two independent seats, a 6” x 2” long sofa bed and a chemical toilet with a swivel seat. The driver has been trained and sensitized to assist wheelchair users. The wheelchair is pushed up a foldable ramp placed in the rear of the vehicle. SARATHI currently has one van in service and is available 7 days a week.

Costs: Hire the taxi for a day i.e. 8 hrs, 80 kms for Rs 3000, thereafter it’s Rs 20 per extra km, Rs 200 per extra hour.

How to book: Call +91-8870955111 or +91-7397700482 between 7am and 10pm.

Website: http://www.swargafoundation.org/sarathi-mobility-redefined/

Check out this video of their taxi…

Ability on Wheels, Ahmedabad

Ability on Wheels is most popularly known for their driving school for people with disabilities – using customized cars. In addition, they have launched a wheelchair accessible cab service in Ahmedabad which is also available if you want to take the cab out of station. Their two cars, a customised Renalut Lodgy and a Maruti Wagon R which can accommodate a wheelchair user and two and one passenger respectively.

Costs: There are multiple options to hire the Lodgy taxi (& Wagon R), 2 hours, 20 kms for Rs 600 (Rs 400); 4 hours, 40 kms for Rs 1200 (Rs 880); 6 hours, 60 kms for Rs 1800 (Rs 1560); 8 hrs, 80 kms for Rs 2400 (Rs 2040), thereafter it’s Rs 15 (Rs 12) per extra km, Rs 150 (Rs 120) per extra hour.

How to book: Call +91-9825033859 or +91-9429633859 to check availiability and book.

Website: http://www.abilityonwheels.org/accessible-cab-services/

Check out this video of their taxi…

Always check on the following before booking a wheelchair accessible taxi:

  • The height of the car. It should be high enough to accommodate you sitting on the wheelchair.
  • The number of people it can accommodate. It’s always more fun when there is company 🙂
  • The latest fares. Sometimes the taxi cost can change due to factors such as fluctuating petrol and diesel prices.
  • Always give a clear brief when booking. Include your name, contact number, date, pickup and drop-off address, the number of people accompanying you and whether any waiting will be required.

Hope the above information on wheelchair accessible taxis in India is useful. Drop in a comment if you have any queries. Also, if you come across any more taxi providers then let me know. I’ll be happy to include them in the list.

Happy travels 🙂