The new year will see a number of changes to the capital’s Taxicard scheme and the Private Hire (minicab) element of Dial-a-Ride services, starting with the introduction of a new maximum fare guarantee for Taxicard members from January 1st.
Scheme users will also benefit from the ability to choose door-to-door or kerb-to-kerb assistance, with further changes due later in the year.
The changes come as part of a new contract awarded by London Councils, which funds and operates Taxicard, and Transport for London, which runs the Dial-A-Ride service, to CityFleet Networks Ltd.
The two schemes support around 100,000 Londoners whose disabilities and mobility impairments make it difficult for them to access mainstream public transport for all or part of their journeys.
Over the coming year users will also benefit from improved driver training, better customer service, and new engagement forums to enable individuals and organisations representing people with disabilities to give feedback, a move London Councils and TfL say will “help ensure a high-quality service is maintained and identify opportunities to make further improvements in future.”
Cllr Julian Bell, chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said: “Assisted transport schemes provide crucial support for Londoners with limited mobility, and London boroughs want to make sure their residents are receiving the best possible service.
“After listening to the views and priorities of customers, we’ve worked with TfL to drive forward important improvements to Taxicard and Dial-a-Ride.
“The new contract means these services will become even more convenient for users and meet higher quality standards.”
Clare Mann, TfL’s Director of Bus Operations, added: “We are committed to ensuring London is open for all, and improving the flexibility and choice available to Londoners who find it very difficult or are unable to use mainstream public transport.
“This new contract helps us towards our vision of a truly accessible city for all Londoners.
“The introduction of a fixed maximum fare per mile, known in advance, will end the cost uncertainty that makes it difficult for many Taxicard members to use the service, while both Taxicard and Dial-a-Ride users will experience a real enhancement to their journeys with improved customer assistance and driver quality.”