Jul 12, 2013

    Number of London cabs grows to 30

    THE number of London cabs here has doubled to 30. These taxis cater to wheelchair users.

    SMRT announced yesterday that it has put its second and final batch of 15 London cabs, which offer ample space for high-backed or motorised wheelchairs, on the road.

    The roll-out of the London cabs received support from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, which gave a $3.1-million grant to cover certificate-of-entitlement and additional-registration-fee costs.

    SMRT said that a London-trained technical specialist has conducted quality checks on the latest batch of 15 vehicles prior to its release to hirers, to "ensure that issues encountered in the earlier batch will be managed effectively" this time.

    The transport operator had admitted in May that the first batch of 15 cabs - launched in March - had "manufacturing defects". The cabs were in the workshop frequently for repair, sometimes lasting for days, causing inconvenience to wheelchair users who rely on them.

    Mr Benny Lim, senior vice-president of SMRT Roads, said in a statement: "We have a tight-knit community of London-taxi drivers, many of whom have established long-time relationships with their passengers.

    "Beyond expanding and improving our hardware, we are also looking to develop their 'software' - training is available so that drivers can better assist passengers with mobility impairments."