Taxi Cab/Non-Emergency Medical Transport

Commercial uses for wheelchair accessible vans include taxi cabs and non-emergency medical transport. In cities where people depend heavily on public transportation, like New York City and Washington, DC, taxi cab companies often buy fleets of wheelchair accessible taxis to handle the demand.

Wheelchair taxis are sometimes not marked as such, because they can be used to transport ambulatory passengers when not serving a wheelchair user. These taxis can carry additional passengers along with the person with disabilities, and, most often, standard taxi cab rates apply.

Rather than hailing a taxi on the street, wheelchair users need to call the accessible-cab company and request a wheelchair-ready cab. It’s also possible to make reservations for a cab one or two days in advance. In fact, cab companies with wheelchair accessible taxis recommend you call at least a couple of hours in advance to request service, because most companies have a limited number of accessible cabs. If they’re unable to accommodate you, they should recommend another local cab company with handicap vans.

Hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted-living communities often have a need for non-emergency medical transportation, which gets patients in wheelchairs to and from doctor’s appointments and other non-emergency needs. Non-critical medical transport vans are available to individuals with disabilities who need to get from their home to another location through specialty companies that provide non-emergency transport services, and this frees up ambulances and life-flight helicopters for urgent medical conveyance. Both wheelchair accessible minivans and full-size vans can accommodate non-emergency medical transport, though the minivan will get better gas mileage.

Handicap minivans modified with a long-channel conversion work well for non-emergency transport because even a gurney will fit comfortably into the minivan if necessary.