Easier rides for wheelchair users


Smoother service: About 10 wheelchair-accessible vehicles will be made available for hire under the trial for the new GrabAssist Plus service. — The Straits Times/ANN

HIRING rides for wheelchair users could soon be more appealing, with vehicles that do not require them to dismount from their wheelchairs throughout the journey.

Grab is trialling a new service, GrabAssist Plus, in which about 10 wheelchair-accessible vehicles will be made available for hire from Feb 8)

All of them will have drivers trained to help wheelchair users.

The fare will be a flat S$32 (RM97) for distances up to 7km. It will cost 40 cents (RM1.20) more for an additional kilometre and S$2.30 (RM7) for every subsequent kilometre.

The new service is an improvement on the current GrabAssist ride, which allows a rider to store his folded wheelchair or personal mobility aid (PMA) on the vehicle, which means he has to dismount from it before entering the vehicle.

The current service has met with substantial demand, with more than 50,000 completed trips since it was launched in 2018, Grab said.

Yee Wee Tang, the managing director of Grab Singapore, said GrabAssist Plus should allow wheelchair users to travel more independently.

Currently, the driver can sometimes find it difficult to help the disabled dismount or mount their mobility devices.

“We have seen positive traction for our GrabAssist service but understand that there are still challenges that passengers on PMAs or wheelchairs face, ” said Yee.

“We hope to address some of these challenges to offer better and more accessible on-demand options for them.”

Grab, SMRT Taxis, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and the Singapore General Hospital, as part of the effort to promote inclusivity, have embarked on a tie-up which now allows passengers to travel to and from their homes or eldercare centres.

The destinations must be selected healthcare institutions. — The Straits Times/ANN

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