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Sylvan Lake opens door to handicapped-accessible taxis

Sylvan Lake cab companies did not have any handicapped-accessible vehicles available

Sylvan Lake town council wasted little time addressing a handicapped-accessible cab shortage.

Only recently, residents brought it to the town’s attention that none of the 12 taxis operated by two local cab companies have handicapped-accessible vehicles.

Red Deer taxi companies have them but under town bylaws out-of-town companies can only drop off customers not pick them up.

After confirming with local taxi companies that buying expensive handicapped accessible vehicles were not in their business plans, town staff proposed a compromise.

The Vehicle for Hire Bylaw was amended by council this week to allow taxi companies with handicapped accessible vehicles to pick up fares in Sylvan Lake.

“This doesn’t change anything for any other form of vehicle for hire, except for those that are equipped with handicapped-accessible technology,” said town communications officer Joanne Gaudet.

Gaudet said it was an important issue and council reacted quickly when the town got wind of the problem.

“We basically the made the turnaround in under a week,” she said. “This is in direct response to the public.”

Sylvan Lake also has a taxi voucher program through Family and Community Support Services. Residents in need can apply for financial help for transportation.

“Part of our vision is being a well-connected community,” said Gaudet.

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