Wheelchair-Accessible Taxis (WATs)
Q1: What is the difference between WATs and Rehab Bus?
1. Model: Compared to Rehab Bus, the WATs in this city adopt a newer car model, which is Volkswagen Caddy, imported from Germany with a posted price of $1.42 million.
2. Service hours: WATs offer 24-hour reservation-based services, allowing more flexibility due to its mobility, while Rehab Bus services should be reserved at least one day in advance.
3. Target groups: WATs provides accessible services for senior citizens, pregnant women, physically challenged people, and people in wheelchairs. Rehab Bus services are limited to disability certificate holders.
4. Rates: The fares for WATs are charged in the same way as those for general taxis, and the subsidies available for physically challenged people differ from the half price offered by Rehab Bus.
Q2: How are WAT fares calculated? Is there any subsidy program for physically and mentally challenged people?
A: The fares for WATs are charged in the same way as those for general taxis. For people with I Pass for the disabled, subsidies are offered by section: A one-section subsidy of $18 for $100 and under; a two-section subsidy of $36 for $101 - $200; and a three-section subsidy of $54 for $201 and above.
Q3: How do WAT fleet operators in Kaohsiung City operate at present? What are the features of their services?
A: WATs have three major features:
1. Seamless medical transport: The city government has requested major medical institutions to offer a temporary parking zone in front of the entrance or free off-street parking. Moreover, the Transportation Bureau is the first to establish WAT parking spaces along the roadside. Currently such parking spaces are available at Hsiao-Kang Hospital and Ta-Tung Hospital for demonstration purposes, and will be established at the six major medical institutions in early November.
2. Comprehensive services: The city government will include WATs among the tourism taxis in this city, so senior and physically challenged citizens may go on tours with their family members, and people without disabilities can also go out with friends. By so doing, patients and tourists can utilize WATs for their all-round services.
3. Service referral: In the future, citizens who are in urgent need of Rehab Bus but cannot reserve one may be referred to WATs through the Rehab Bus dispatch center so as to enjoy diverse options offered by WATs.
Q4: What are the qualification limitations for WAT operators?
A: To facilitate the taxi dispatch service, the Bureau currently commissions satellite or radio taxi fleets in this city to carry out such service. Kaisyuan M-Taxi won the first tender for 20 WATs. Pursuant to Article 91-3 of the Motor Carrier Management Regulations, taxi companies that adopt wheelchair-accessible vehicles for their services shall require their drivers to receive the training conducted or outsourced by the competent highway authority and obtain a certificate of completion of training before they begin to offer services. Thus, WAT operators need to participate in the Training Program for Wheelchair-Accessible Taxi Operators conducted by the Transportation Bureau and obtain a certificate of completion of training. Besides, operators should acquire a valid occupation registration certificate before operation.
Q5: How can we call a WAT?
A: Please dial the WAT dispatch service hotline of Kaisyuan M-Taxi: 07-7241111; you may also access the dispatch service via its exclusive dispatch service APP.
Q6: Is there any channel for complaints?
A: You may dial the complaint hotline of Kaisyuan M-Taxi at (07)2255000, or complain to the following government agencies by providing the vehicle registration number, practice registration certificate number, date, time and location of the case and relevant information. The competent authority will impose punishments in accordance with relevant regulations once the validity of the case is verified. Kaohsiung City Transportation Bureau: 07-229-9865; Kaohsiung City Police Department: 110
WATs: Take a taxicab to see Rubber Duck (play Youtube video)