A PRICE war has broken out in the Capital between rival taxi discount schemes for the disabled.
In one corner, the city council’s Taxicard initiative with new partners Central Taxis – offering up to £3 off each journey for passengers struggling to get about.
And in the other, former council collaborators City Cabs’ Cab Assist scheme – undercutting the opposition with a £3.80 saving per trip.
“The taxi trade has a key role in supporting inclusion, especially for people with mobility issues,” said City Cabs company secretary, Les McVay.
West End-based City Cabs came up with their alternative after being dropped by the council in July after more than 30 years.
“When the Taxicard scheme changed, we were approached by many of our long-term customers expressing their desire to stay with City Cabs,” explained Mr McVay.
“In response, we are happy to offer what we feel is an enhanced and more user-friendly service.”
Other benefits of Cab Assist include no admin charge – compared to Taxicard’s £20 fee – unlimited journeys and potential availability to more immobile customers.
“We have created Cab Assist to be as user-friendly as possible based on our 30 years of involvement and experience of the Taxicard scheme,” said Mr McVay.
“We’ve had very positive feedback from those existing customers and we’re delighted to be able to roll out these proposals more widely,” he added.
Formed in 1925, City Cabs is a worker co-operative which has grown to comprise more than 1,100 drivers.
“City Cabs has always been committed to helping support inclusion and independent living, and we know that our service is heavily relied upon by many people who have mobility issues,” said Mr McVay.
“We’re determined to help lead the development and improvement of public transport in the nation’s capital.
“We provide an essential service for people of all incomes and from all backgrounds.
“As Edinburgh seeks to reduce car use, buses, trams and taxis will take more of the strain in helping transport people for work and leisure.
“A high-quality public transport service for everyone will help all Edinburgh’s residents make the most of the fantastic quality of life that Edinburgh has to offer.”
Cab Assist customer and cerebral palsy sufferer Marion Cumming, 67, of East Craigs, said: “I’ve been using City Cabs for a wee while now and it’s a good service.
“It means I can get out and about and to the shops that I wouldn’t be able to do otherwise.”
A council spokesperson said: “The Council’s Taxicard service aims to help people with a disability, who may find it difficult to use public transport, to get around the city more easily.
“We are aware of City Cabs’ venture, and note that it adds another offering to the customer.”