After a recent consultation and a questionnaire to taxi card users, significant changes to the scheme have been agreed with a start date of 1st June. This scheme offers reduced fares to taxis for people who have a long term or permanent illness or disability. The good news is that the double swipe facility where two swipes of the card can be used in one trip has been kept following consultation. However, there are real worries about most of the other changes agreed:
- Increase the contribution from £1.50 to £2.50 per trip
- Reduce the subsidy per trip by £2
- Keep as standard 104 annual trips for non Freedom Pass users
- Reduce the trip allocation from 104 to 52 per year for Freedom Pass users
Richmond Council have agreed to review the impact of the changes in April 2012. Because many people have to use the taxicard to get to an accessible transport point in their electric wheelchairs or because they cannot walk more than a few metres, without the taxi card they couldn’t use the Freedom Pass: this is something we would like explored further. We are also concerned that the Council and users get value for money from using ComCab as taxi card users can lose the first £3.40 of what is on the taxi meter as this starts running from when the job is accepted – this cuts into the subsidy on the trip that someone gets. We don’t know yet how soon the changes will affect people who are existing taxi card users with Freedom Passes as they will have been allocated their 104 trips before this change had been agreed.
Please get back to us to let us know how you will be affected by the changes. You can write in our forum or email us with your thoughts or comments.