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Vancouver Taxi Association Will Install “Talking Taxi Meters”

Following its nine year efforts to lobby BC's Passenger Transportation Board to require the installation of a taxi meter with optional audio output, Access for Sight Impaired Consumers is pleased the industry has taken a leadership role with the following announcement:
 
December 4, 2014
For Immediate Release
 
Vancouver Taxi Association Will Install “Talking Taxi Meters”
In All Taxis: A first In Canada
 
Date and Time: Friday December 5th 11:30
Location: TELUS Science World
Special Guests
The Honourable Don McRae - Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation
Donovan Tildesley MC/Paralympian Swimmer
Councillor Geoff Meggs - City of Vancouver
John Mulka- Regional Vice-President/Executive Director, CNIB BC/Yukon Division
Jane Dyson - Executive Director Disability Alliance BC [Formerly BC Coalition of People with
Disabilities])
__________________ The Vancouver Taxi Association (VTA) will install “talking taxi
meters” in all of its cabs to provide an improved service to people with
disabilities and seniors, particularly those who are blind or partially sighted.
The VTA is committed to providing the best possible service to people with disabilities
and seniors and has been working closely with the disability and seniors communities
to fulfil this promise.
 
The first step was an innovative driver training program that VTA developed with
community stakeholders on how to assist seniors and people with disabilities. The
introduction of talking meters, the first in Canada and possibly North America, is VTA’s
latest innovation towards fulfilling its commitment to serving people with disabilities
and seniors.

“It’s been my honour to work with Rob Sleath from Access for Sight Impaired
Consumers and the CNIB, Jane Dyson from Disability Alliance BC, Lorraine Logan from
Council of Seniors Citizens Organizations, Jill Weiss from City of Vancouver Persons
with Disabilities Advisory Committee and others to develop the training. And now
we’re delighted to introduce the wonderful talking meter,” said VTA’s Carolyn Bauer.
Customers will be able to ask taxi drivers to turn on the optional audio feature at the
beginning of their trip. The meters will announce the starting fare, the fare as it
increases throughout the trip and the final fare amount. The meters will be installed
in all new Vancouver taxis and will be used to replace all current meters as they age out.
 
“This is a great example of private industry stepping up to help B.C. meet its
Accessibility 2024 goal of becoming the most progressive place for people with
disabilities in Canada,” said Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don
McRae. “The Vancouver Taxi Association’s new talking meter technology will provide
an improved level of service for customers, including seniors and people with disabilities,
and particularly those who have visual challenges.”
 
“Providing quality service to people with disabilities is one of the most important
obligations we impose on our taxi companies. Innovations like this talking meter are
proof that the industry takes this responsibility seriously and is committed to
accessible and inclusive service for all customers,” said Vancouver City Councillor Geoff Meggs.
 
“The VTA strongly supports the Province’s Accessibility 2024 Plan and the City of
Vancouver’s commitment to accessibility. This initiative reflects our support,” said
Bauer, “and we look forward to continue working with the community to ensure we
provide a safe and respectful service to people with disabilities and seniors.”
 
For more information please contact:
Carolyn Bauer, Vancouver Taxi Association: 604-619-8428​​

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