Amherstburg Has No Accessible Taxis

Commentary by Linda Saxon

Any commentaries on this blog pertaining to a lack of accessibility in Amherstburg or anywhere else contain my personal opinion and not that as Chair of the Essex County Accessibility Advisory Committee.

I telephoned South Shore Taxi yesterday to inquire if they had any accessible taxis; the answer was “no.” The response to my question, “why not?” was “we just don’t” which was followed by a hearty laugh and the suggestion that I would have to speak to the owner.

Not having accessible taxis is not funny; I would also mention that the website has accessibility issues.

Part of Question 29 to the candidates relative to accessibility issues that I raised was, “Will you commit to specific plans to ensure fully accessible public transit and taxi services in your community?”

For the most part, the position was that taxis are private enterprise and should therefore not be interfered with.

However, ONTARIO REGULATION 191/11 made under the ACCESSIBILITY FOR ONTARIANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2005, sets out Duties of Municipalities in sections 78, 79, 80.

Duties of municipalities, accessible taxicabs
79.  (1)  Every municipality shall consult with its municipal accessibility advisory committee, where one has been established in accordance with subsection 29 (1) or (2) of the Act, the public and persons with disabilities to determine the proportion of on-demand accessible taxicabs required in the community.

(2)  Every municipality shall identify progress made toward meeting the need for on-demand accessible taxicabs, including any steps that will be taken to meet the need, in its accessibility plan required under Part I.

(3)  Municipalities shall meet the requirements of this section by January 1, 2013.

(4)  In this section,

“accessible taxicab” means an accessible taxicab as defined in section 1 of Regulation 629 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 (Vehicles for the Transportation of Physically Disabled Persons) made under the Highway Traffic Act.

I do not recall a public meeting ever having been held nor can I find any reference in the town’s accessibility plan.