The taxi services reform will also affect the taxi journeys for which customers with disabilities and restricted functional capacity pay themselves. The pricing of special services will be liberated, and you should thus compare the services of different taxi companies in advance, Trafi and the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority remind customers. The customer must be informed of the price of the service before the booking is confirmed.
As the Act on Transport Services enters into force on 1 July 2018, it will also bring changes to the taxi journeys for which persons with disabilities and restricted functional capacity pay themselves. In the future, before a booking is confirmed, the customer must be clearly told which special services are included in the price of the taxi journey and which are priced separately. These special services may include helping a customer in a wheelchair up some steps, accompanying the customer at their destination, transporting assistive devices or any other service offered by the company.
“Previously, the prices of such services as helping a wheelchair up steps was specified in a degree, whereas now the taxi entrepreneur may price the services as they like. It should also be noted that the entrepreneurs can themselves decide which services they wish to price separately. The customers should thus familiarise themselves with the offer of different taxi companies in advance”, says Marko Sillanpää, Director General of Road Transport at Trafi.
In the future, two categories of accessible vehicles will be used: small and large ones. In the new small accessible vehicles, the space reserved for a wheelchair will be slightly larger than in the current accessible taxis. In turn, the minimum size reserved for a wheelchair in a large accessible vehicle is equivalent to that in a current taxi for the disabled. In addition to the accessible taxies fitting the new definitions, taxies for the disabled of the current type will also be used. The customers should explain their needs related to the vehicle as they make their booking.
The taxi driver must continue to provide the customer with any assistance they may need under the new legislation, and the driver also has the duty to make sure that the customer can get on and off the vehicle safely.
Trafi and the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority have released a video providing information about taxi journeys for which persons with disabilities and restricted functional capacity pay themselves. Instructions issued by Kela or the municipalities should be followed in taxi services paid for by these authorities.
An information package produced in inter-authority cooperation is also available on Trafi’s website, in which key changes related to taxi journeys for which persons with disabilities and restricted functional capacity pay themselves are explained. (in Finnish)
Key changes to taxi journeys for which persons with disabilities and restricted functional capacity pay for themselves after 1 July 2018 (in Finnish)
Animations explaining the new features of taxi services (in Finnish)
Director General of Road Transport Marko Sillanpää, tel. +358 29 5345 210, marko.sillanpaa (at) trafi.fi, on Twitter @MarkoSillanp
Development Manager Mikko Västilä, tel. +358 29 5345 584, mikko.vastila (at) trafi.fi
Special Adviser Timo Kärkkäinen, tel. +358 29 5345 380, timo.karkkainen (at) trafi.fi (technical requirements for vehicles)
Finnish Consumer and Competition Authority:
Senior Inspector Satu Toepfer, tel. +358 29 505 3129, firstname.lastname(at) kkv.fi