$5.6 million set to slash wheelchair taxi waiting times

CLOSE to $6 million in funding is dedicated to slash taxi waiting times for Ipswich wheelchair users.

Wheelchair accessible taxi drivers are encouraged to prioritise bookings made by Taxi Subsidy Scheme (TSS) wheelchair users with a new $20 lift payment as part of the State Government's $5.6 million incentive.

"The new $20 lift payment is expected to give the drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis an added incentive to give bookings placed by TSS wheelchair users the priority we know they deserve," Member for Ipswich West Jim Madden said.

"It can take extra time for drivers to assist wheelchair users to board a wheelchair accessible taxi and the new $20 lift payment recognises that.

"The Lift Payment benefits drivers and people in Ipswich and Somerset who rely on a wheelchair for their mobility."

Mr Madden said by making the $20 lift payment available directly to drivers and operators of wheelchair accessible taxis, the government was ensuring there were no additional fare costs for TSS passengers.

Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchliffe said the new lift payment applied to each eligible wheelchair accessible taxi trip involving the transportation of a TSS member travelling in a wheelchair.

"Queenslanders meeting the Taxi Subsidy Scheme's eligibility criteria also receive a 50% subsidy for taxi travel up to a maximum of $25 per trip," Mr Hinchliffe said.

He said the lift payment incentive package was part of the $100 million Industry Adjustment Assistance Package, which was passed by the Queensland Parliament before Christmas.

"Also included in the Industry Adjustment Assistance Package is a range of financial, advisory and incentive measures to help the taxi operators and drivers adjust to changes in the industry," Mr Hinchliffe said.

He said consultation on the next stage of personalised transport reforms was continuing with a meeting in mid-December of the Personalised Transport Industry Reference Group (PTIRG).

For more information on the Lift Payment, visit http://personalisedtransport.tmr.qld.gov.au/

For more information on the Taxi Subsidy Scheme, visit https://translink.com.au/tickets-and-fares/ticket-types/disability/taxi-subsidy-scheme

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