Edmonton taxi and Uber drivers to get obligatory accessibility coaching, can ask for deposits in bylaw replace

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Edmonton taxi, Uber, limousine, and different ride-hailing drivers might want to full accessibility coaching after council handed a bylaw replace which additionally impacts rider deposits and airport charges.

Edmonton metropolis councillors, with the mayor absent, unanimously handed all three readings amending the car for rent bylaw on Tuesday. Beginning subsequent 12 months, drivers will want proof of finishing a driver coaching program authorized by town supervisor, a change requested by advocates for years to enhance accessibility and security for passengers.

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The brand new city-approved coaching modules can be delivered to dispatchers by the second quarter of 2024. Beforehand, solely drivers providing particularly accessible taxis have been required to take it. Experience-hailing corporations at present provide varied types of driver coaching.

The bylaw replace additionally permits drivers to disclaim journeys to passengers who refuse to provide an up-front deposit on request. Flat fees for journeys from Edmonton Worldwide Airport will even rise in some areas of town relying on the space.

Coun. Jo-Anne Wright stated this has been a chronic course of however she’s glad council arrived at this level.

“We heard in committee from each the (Ladies’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton) and accessibility advisory committee the significance to have this accessibility coaching change into obligatory, and complementary to what companies are already doing,” she stated. “I do recognize this and I additionally recognize (metropolis administration) working with stakeholders to additional develop this coaching.”

The bylaw additionally removes restrictions on the dimensions of accessible decals which can make them simpler for passengers to see, and modifications the obligatory reporting for experience refusals from 24 hours to seven days.

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Whereas particulars of the coaching haven’t been ironed out, the present modules for wheelchair-accessible car drivers cowl matters round kinds of disabilities, incapacity consciousness, incapacity legislation, communication and inclusive language, and tips on how to present accessible customer support.

Tuesday’s bylaw replace got here after council requested employees final March to analysis how they’ll enhance accessibility for passengers with disabilities and seniors. Different advocates had criticized town over its gradual response to issues raised about sexual harassment and accessibility points in taxis since a minimum of 2017.

Coun. Karen Principe questioned if drivers must recertify after a time frame and stated she thinks drivers of particularly accessible autos ought to have separate coaching, and that town ought to work out methods to extend the variety of wheelchair-accessible taxis.

Metropolis employees advised councillors they should do additional engagement with the trade to determine the recurring coaching subject and discover methods to incentivize including extra accessible autos to fleets.



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