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.
Below are the details of wheelchair accessible taxis available in Bangalore and Goa. There are none in New Delhi:
Their fleet of 2 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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:
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 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 🙂