Victoria’s blind and low vision community are celebrating increased access to public transport after an expansion to the state’s Multi-Purpose Taxi Program (MPTP).
Historically the MPTP has provided users with a 50% subsidy, up to $60, for taxi journeys. As of January 21, MPTP users will now be able to access the same subsidy for trips with Uber.
Chris Edwards, Vision Australia manager of government relations and advocacy, said the change to the MPTP is something the blind and low vision community has long been calling for.
“Point to point public transport, such as Uber and taxis, is vital in allowing people who are blind or have low vision to be active and independent members of their community,” Chris said.
“For many, the MPTP is what makes point to point transport affordable. Vision Australia has consistently said the MPTP should be expanded to include rideshare services and we’re pleased from today that our community now have increased options for accessing a vital mode of transport,” he said.
MPTP users can access the 50% subsidy on any trips taken with UberX, Assist, UberXL, Comfort and Premier services. MPTP trips taken with Uber will count towards users’ subsidy limit, as with trips booked with other MPTP providers.
While Vision Australia is excited by the change to the MPTP, Chris said more needs to be done to provide the wider Australian blind and low vision community with access to rideshare services.
“There’s no reason other states and territories can’t follow Victoria’s lead and make similar changes to their mobility transport allowance schemes,” he said.
“Ideally all states and territories should allow their schemes to cover Uber and other established rideshare services and truly give people who are blind or have low vision full access to all point to point transport options."
To access the MPTP subsidy for Uber trips, MPTP users require an active Uber account and will need to complete the Uber MPTP Enrolment Form. For further information, call Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria on 1800 638 802.