Cabs no longer required to have disabled access ramps in Turkey
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
DHA PhotoCommercial taxis are no longer required by law to have disabled access ramps following a change of status that left over 114,000 vehicles outside the category of public transportation.
A law that went into effect in 2005 required all public transportation vehicles to obtain disabled access ramps in the next seven years, including commercial metropolitan taxis. The status of taxis, however, has now been completely left out of public transportation, with all forms of taxis and taxi drivers in all cities no longer legally responsible for disabled access to the vehicles.
Remaining public transportation vehicles will lose licenses unless they comply with the current law.
Istanbul Chamber of Taxi Drivers (İTEO) Chairman Yahya Uğur said the change was confirmed by the Interior Ministry following a letter from the chamber regarding the issue.
“The response we received says taxis are no longer counted as public transportation,” Uğur told Anatolia news agency.
Uğur added that the current structure could not have handled the addition of disabled ramps, which he didn’t think was needed, to 114,000 vehicles.
“I do not think there is a current need such as that,” Uğur said. “Numbers we received from the Administration for Disabled People show that there are about eight million disabled people in wheelchairs in Istanbul. When you scale that to the general numbers, about eight taxis will be enough for the disabled in Istanbul.”
Uğur mentioned future plans that will require each taxi station to have at least one vehicle with a disabled access ramp, and such a measure would be enough to fulfill the needs of the disabled while not occupying too many vehicles.
“The vehicles with disabled ramps stop being taxis,” Uğur said. “They end up being really high. Regular customers do not prefer riding in them,” adding that there are very few countries in the world with such requirements.
“The interesting thing is that there are no such taxis in Turkey. There is no need for them. Nothing negative will happen to disabled citizens. We will take all the necessary measures to prevent disabled people from not being able to fully use their right to transportation. We will provide a proper way of transportation for our disabled citizens,” Uğur said.