In The Media | 31 May 2016

Taxi subsidy for disabled increased from July after 16-year wait

For 16 years, the state government subsidy for taxi fares has remained unchanged at $30, failing to keep up with the rising cost of taxi journeys in Sydney’s congested traffic.

But from July 1, after a sustained campaign by disability advocates, the Baird government will double the subsidy to $60.

“I don’t like to sit around,” says Mark Tonga, who became a tetraplegic eight years ago in a rugby training accident.

He cheers on the Wallabies, recites poetry, and attends Sydney Opera House performances and the art gallery on top of his prodigious volunteer work in the rugby community.

He is also a director of People With Disability Australia and Paraplegic and Quadriplegics NSW.

The key to his busy life is wheelchair-accessible taxis.

There aren’t enough of them on Sydney roads, says Mr Tonga, and when they can be found, the cost of commuting to work can be so prohibitive it takes a large chunk of the average wage of a disabled worker

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald