The capital’s Taxicard scheme could soon be overhauled to provide users with a personal budget that allows them to make more flexible trips thanks to a recent report by the London Assembly.
Operated by London Councils with funding from Transport for London, the scheme sees disabled and mobility impaired users allocated an annual quota of subsidised taxi trips, allowing them to make journeys many would otherwise struggle to carry out by public transport.
Each journey is subsidised up to a maximum fare set by the user’s home borough with the user contributing at least £2.50 per trip. Some boroughs also allow scheme members to use two journey subsidies, enabling longer trips to be taken.
Last year the Assembly’s transport committee expressed concern that the scheme fails to meet the needs of some members and called on TfL to consider scrapping the current journey allocation in favour of a personalised budget so that users could decide how long a journey they wanted to take and how much of their allocated funds they wanted to spend on it.
This proposal is be trialled for 12 months in Southwark and Hounslow from October, after which TfL and London Councils will assess what impact it’s had on users’ ability to get around before deciding whether to roll out the new system to all users.
In addition, TfL is to provide additional training for drivers carrying Taxicard users to ensure they understand the needs of disabled and mobility impaired passengers and is planning to introduce “improved complaint handling and enhanced web and app- based booking options” to boost service levels.