On April 16th, 2013 Beck, Co-Op, Royal and Scarborough Taxi companies announced a plan to facilitate equal access to transportation and prevent the charging of extra fees to disabled passengers using wheelchairs.
Alessia Di Virgilio, a frequent user of the service welcomed the plan being put forward by the taxi companies. “I am glad that action is being taken. I was regularly quoted double or triple the fare because I use a wheelchair.”
Mr. Spiros Bastas, speaking on behalf of Royal Taxi, commented “We are very committed to ensuring that our customers have equal access to transportation in this city.”
The Toronto taxi companies are cooperating in a joint effort to make the following changes:
- Asking the City of Toronto to amend the passenger “Bill of Rights” and the “Tariff Notice” posted in taxis to provide additional information about the prohibited fees
- Asking the City of Toronto to amend their training program for drivers of accessible taxicabs to include information about the prohibited fees
- A posting in all dispatch offices reminding staff about the prohibited fees
- A new progressive discipline system that ranges from warnings to termination
- Confirmation that disciplinary action has been taken will be sent to passengers who make a complaint
Ms. Clara Matheson, Di Virgilio’s lawyer from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre commented “We hope the City of Toronto will do its part to stop this from happening, including amending the passenger Bill of Rights and the fee notice.”
The Human Rights Legal Support Centre offers free legal services to individuals throughout Ontario who have experienced discrimination contrary to Ontario’s Human Rights Code.