A Timmins group is looking to get an accessible taxi on the streets.

The Timmins Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee is looking for support in bringing a taxi to town that is able to take people with all kinds of accessibility problems. MAAC Chair Dan McKay says bringing a service like this to the community is needed. “For those who need it that are in mobility devices, they do not have on-demand service like every one of us takes for granted. I can go into any cab with Kirk (a seeing-eye dog) also, but it’s those people with mobility devices that want to get out and socialize or get that last-minute doctor’s appointment”

McKay says Timmins Handy Transit is not enough for these people. “With the Handy Trans, you have to pre-book, you have to know days in advance of any appointments you want to get to. It follows the conventional bus hours, therefore 6:00am until 11:30pm.” He says you also have to already be registered with the service in order to use it.

MAAC lobbied to bring some accessible taxi licences to Timmins last year and was able to get two per taxi company in town. McKay says neither one has taken advantage of that.

Yesterday, Custom Coach 2007 Inc. brought an accessible van to the Urban Park Market to show support for the need for the service. The company says the vehicle is a lowered floor minivan and its unique properties include the ramp for accessibility being under the vehicle, built into a cassette. It says it’s manually operated and stays stowed out of the way of passengers until it’s required. The company adds that one of these vans typically costs somewhere in the mid-$50,000 range.

McKay says MAAC is willing to help the two taxi companies in town buy an accessible cab. He says the organization is willing to invest a total of $20,000 to bring at least one van to Timmins.