24 August 2014
Mérida is the first town in Spain to comply with the new direction to have 5% of handicapped accessible taxis as established by the current legislation, since it has 6 accessible taxis presently, representing 12% of the total taxi fleet.
The director of Universal Accessibility of the ONCE Foundation rightly feels that the existence of accessible taxis “is essential for many people with limited capabilities to move around”. “This is especially relevant in tourist destinations so that handicapped tourists can enjoy the destinations just as anyone else” he said.
It was also stated that the lack of handicapped accessible taxis is usually one of the main problems in the accessibility chain, as it prevents people with disabilities to exercise this fundamental right.
Current law that regulates the basic conditions for accessibility and non-discrimination for “access and use” of transport for people with physical disabilities states that Spanish cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants been ordered to ensure they have the correct number of accessible taxis by the year 2017.
According to an in depth study made recently only 25% of Spanish cities currently meet this requirement, resulting in 75% of the towns having fewer than five handicapped accessible taxicabs for every 100 in the fleet. As of July 2014 there are seven towns where there are actually no handicapped accessible taxicabs at all. Nerja has 1 accessible taxi – a Merecedes Viano and will need to increase this as sometimes this particular vehicle is unavailable as it is making and airport transfer from Malaga to Nerja.