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Sep 27, 2007

Taxi service caters to wheelchair bound customers

Story PictureFrom products that help the environment we turn to a new service that aims to improve the quality of life for an often ignored group of Belizeans.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
It may just look like any ordinary taxi van but the service it provides is the first of its kind for Belize. Handi-Cab, a taxi for you and your wheel chair has been on
the streets for only one week but for the people it helps, the specialized service was long overdue.

Fifteen year old Ceejay Young says disabled persons like him have always had a difficult time getting around because of a lack of conveniences for the handicapped in Belize. Young says Handi-Cab has helped him to be more independent.

Ceejay Young, Customer, Handi–Cab
“It was difficult because people had to push me around and help me to get around school and my parents had to come and pick me up at school to take me home and it was really difficult and challenging.”

The business owner thirty year old Joel Wade says he understands how easily frustrated it can be for persons living with a disability and it was a result of his own experience that prompted him to provide the specialized public service transport.

Joel Wade – Owner, Handi Cab
“Two years ago I did a knee surgery and I had to spend a little time in a wheel chair and I found out how inconvenient it was to get around, to get out of a wheel chair and into a vehicle. I could manoeuvre on one foot so for me, it was not all that difficult but I could imagine you know for those people who cannot walk any at all how difficult it is.”

“I decided to get a vehicle that is equipped with a ramp to carry a wheelchair so that it would be convenient for people to remain in their wheelchair and be transported around.”

There is also additional seating for regular passengers.

Anthony Chan, Driver, Handi-Cab
“It is very important. Over the last week or so I have been basing the service out of the Karl Heusner compound and we see on a daily basis ten or fifteen people, they are struggling to lift them up out of a wheel chair and put them in a vehicle and an accident is bound to happen that way.”

Ceejay says he finds the ride comfortable as the wheel chair is firmly anchored to the floor.

Ceejay Young, Customer, Handi–Cab
“I feel that it is very important we get transportation to places that we need to go to and to let us have an easier way to get around the city.”

Handi – Cab runs cost between ten and twenty dollars depending on the route. If you would like more information on the service please call telephone number 620–8059 or 601–8842 or email handicabbz@yahoo.com.

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