It appears on online sales platforms, travel agencies, tour operators, hotels, etc.

It would be good to share, little by little we are teaching, educating that certain ideas are outdated. 

When we talk about an accessible taxi and you can see in the photos, it is a car with a lowered floor where manual and electric chairs can fit and you can access the car without major problems. 

What is an accessible taxi?

For many, including here in Madeira, accessible taxi is a mini van with a removable ramp.

Because they are yellow, if I paint a bus yellow it can be a taxi too…

This is not, nor will be an accessible taxi, it is necessary to start giving the right name to things, since a client, when he goes looking for this service, is not the product he is expecting.

Which will be misleading and can cause big problems for customers.

Especially if the service is already paid for in advance.

It cannot be refused. 

Some time ago Uber said they had accessible taxis, turns out accessible taxi was to transfer to a normal taxi bank and take the manual wheelchair in the boot. 

It failed to say that electric wheelchairs cannot be carried.

Then we have the vans/minivan, or even minibuses with platform lift, removable ramp or wide ramp.

It is convenient when you are selling these services that you put pictures as the clients do not know exactly what they will find.

The differences are in the height of the car and the ramps.

When they are removable ramps, it is worth saying that they can take up to a certain weight, 200 kgs, 350 kgs, 500 kgs and these ramps were not made to take wheelchairs, especially electric ones, but to serve as loading ramps.

They came into use because they are cheaper than correct ramps and you don’t have to make many changes to the car itself. 

There is an idea that you buy one of these removable ramps and put it on and everything is fine, IT’S NOT FINE, until the client falls.

Even the client doesn’t feel safe going up and down because of the slope and how narrow they are.

There are those who use wide ramps, 70 cm wide, to access cars, removable anyway.  These were designed to be placed on steps, not on cars. 

For these reasons the adapted cars, the ramps are fixed, to give safety when going up / down.

Then we have the cars, which are adapted with the electric platforms, about this, there is not much to explain, they are 5 stars, we just have to be careful in the size and how much weight they can carry, since there are from 150 kgs to 500 kgs.  

There are some buses that already circulate by the island of Madeira, that use so-called cassette platform lift, which are in the big buses, some new ones that came for a public transport company.

If you have some attention that the measures are small, you may not fit a larger equipment and may leave the customers on the ground. 

There is an idea that clients are placed on the side of the cars, because they don’t have the patience to turn the chair, or the space to do it inside the car.  

It should be remembered that they should go facing forward and be fastened with 3-position belts, and not just fasten the chair, as is common practice. 

I know it’s a bit controversial, but with the new ISO rules, a lot of this information will start to become transparent so that it no longer happens that you need 4 people to put an electric chair in one of these accessible taxis.

What you will find on the island of madeira, are:

  • Mini van with removable ramp.
  • Mini van with fixed ramp.
  • Bus with Platform Lift 
  • Bus with Cassette Elevating Platform.  

When people travel, whether for Shore Excursions, Transfers or even Tours, they must always ask what type of vehicle they will use and how Acessible the tours are. 

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