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Travelling with a disability

The Taxi Services Commission (TSC) is responsible for ensuring transport services, including taxis, are accessible for all members of the community, including people with a disability. This page provides information on accessible taxi services across the state.

Information on this page

Wheelchair Accessible Taxis

Photo of a wheelchair accessible taxi

Wheelchair accessible taxis

Wheelchair accessible taxis (WATs) allow people who use wheelchairs to travel in their wheelchair provided that they and the wheelchair can be safely restrained in the vehicle. 

WATs are vehicles designed to carry one, two or more people seated in wheelchairs (depending upon the vehicle type) and between four and eleven passengers when not configured to carry wheelchairs. The service is popular, with 429 WATs in operation on Victorian roads. In the 2009-10 financial year, there were a total of 692,797 WAT trips made. 

Scooters, Princess, and other 'high-care' chairs must not be transported in wheelchair accessible taxis if the passenger is seated in them.

However, they can be carried in a wheelchair accessible taxi if:

  • the taxi driver can safely restrain the chair to stop it moving
  • the passenger can transfer into a fixed seat in the vehicle and use the seat belt.

Read more about mobility aids in wheelchair accessible taxis.

WATs are required to give priority to bookings by people who use wheelchairs but may be used to carry other passengers when not engaged with wheelchair bookings. When not carrying wheelchair passengers, WATs have the same operating rights and conditions as standard taxis, but charge a higher tariff when carrying 5 or more passengers.

Booking a WAT

WATs are available in Melbourne and regional areas. Ask for a WAT when you book. In Melbourne, call 8413 7202 or 9277 3877. In regional areas, see the Yellow Pages telephone directory for contact numbers.

Multi Purpose Taxi Program

The Multi Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP) is available to assist with the travel needs of people with severe and permanent disabilities by offering discounted taxi fares to members of the program.

Lifting fee

When carrying an MPTP member with a wheelchair or scooter (M31) taxi card, drivers receive a lifting fee when loading and unloading passengers from wheelchair accessible taxis. In non-metropolitan Victoria a lifting fee is also paid for loading a wheelchair into the boot of a sedan or station wagon.

The lifting fee recognises the time it takes drivers to load and unload wheelchair and scooter users. As a result, the taxi meter must not be turned on while an MPTP passenger with an M31 card is being loaded or unloaded.

The lifting fee is paid by the Victorian State Government. Drivers do not receive the lifting fee when carrying passengers who do not have an M31 card.

Wheelchair and scooter users are never required to pay the lifting fee.

As at 1 September 2013 the following lifting fees apply in Victoria:

  • Lifting fee for wheelchair accessible taxis is $16.00.
  • Lifting fee for conventional taxis in outer-suburban, urban and country zones is $8.00.

Initiatives

Initiatives to improve the availability and reliability of taxi services for people who use wheelchairs include:

  • subsidising the Course in Wheelchair Accessible Training Services for taxi drivers, including additional out-of-pocket expenses for those who successfully complete the course
  • subsidising the cost of replacement or new Wheelchair Accessible Taxis in country Victoria
  • setting stringent wheelchair work service delivery benchmarks for taxi depots.