In an Australian-first, the Victorian Government is expanding the Multi Purpose Taxi Program to include Uber – giving people with disabilities and accessibility needs access to a greater choice of subsidised transport options.
This state-wide expansion comes after a successful trial by Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria (CPVV) and Uber in Geelong. Despite COVID-19 related shutdowns occurring during the entirety of the trial, CPVV and Uber were able to facilitate over 170 rides and achieve a perfect 5.0 satisfaction rating by riders.
Trial participants told CPVV that they loved the on-demand nature of Uber, fast response times, ease of use, enhanced safety features and seamless payment system. Passengers also loved having more choice and value, being able to use the subsidy across Uber’s range of options including UberX, Uber Comfort and Uber XL.
The MPTP subsidy covers 50% of the cost of eligible participants trips, up to $60. Thanks to a custom-built technology solution built for the Geelong trial, MPTP subsidies are automatically applied to the upfront price shown to the rider before they request a trip, and remains automatically applied until an individual’s subsidy is exhausted. This provides passengers with greater certainty about the cost of a trip before taking it, and removes the need to use physical cards on each trip to deduct the balance.
Dom Taylor, General Manager of Uber Australia and New Zealand, said that: “Since launching in Melbourne in 2013, Uber has helped millions of Victorians get from A to B affordably, reliably and safely at the press of a button. However, up until now, Victorians with a disability using the MPTP scheme simply didn’t have that same choice.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with CPVV to provide greater choice and flexibility with a technology-based, on-demand transport solution for Victorians accessing the MPTP subsidy.
“Every Australian jurisdiction has an equivalent scheme to MPTP and it’s exciting to see Victoria lead the way in providing more choice and greater control to those with accessibility needs. For Uber, this is our first major step in improving transport options for Australians with a disability, but we see it as only the first of many.”
Aaron de Rozario, CEO, Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria, added: “Victorians with accessibility needs should be able to access a range of commercial passenger vehicles, just like anyone else in the community. This means being able to choose the type of service that meets their individual needs and lifestyle.
“This partnership with Uber gives MPTP members more options, and importantly choice, for their individual travel needs. With access to work, study and leisure activities, members can be active citizens, which in turn supports the economic growth of Victoria.
“The Victorian Government is committed to providing more accessible services across the transport network. This means looking for new ways to deliver services, and this partnership is a great example of innovation.”
Managing Director of Centre for Access, Thomas Banks, a disability advocate who participated in the Geelong trial, welcomed the state-wide rollout.
“I’m excited for the MPTP scheme to be available on the Uber platform, as are so many other people with disabilities who I’ve spoken to about this initiative.
“We have all wanted Uber to be able to offer the MPTP subsidy for a long time because it’s much more convenient to use than the traditional taxi to get from A to B. The fact that the subsidy hadn’t been available for Uber trips disadvantaged the disability community immensely.
“This initiative is finally going to give people with disabilities more choice. By using Uber I know I’ll get to the right destination quickly and safely, which is important. I love how simple the subsidy is to use on the Uber platform. I love how I don’t have to carry any cards with me and have to fumble in my bag to find it. I love how it’s automatically discounted and I can see the discounted price before I agree to take the trip. It’s just simple to use – as it should be.”
How it works:
- If you don’t have the Uber app yet, download it to your smartphone. If you already have it, you’re all set.
- To join the program, you first need to complete this form t.uber.com/EnrolMPTP. Make sure you include the email address that is connected to your Uber account, and have your MPTP member card number handy.
- Enter your destination on the Uber app.
- Request a ride via UberX – or use Uber Assist* for additional service getting into and out of the vehicle. Riders can also choose UberXL, Uber Comfort or Uber Premier.
- Ride easy with the 50% discount automatically factored into your trip, up to $60. You will cover anything additional and will be shown the total amount for the ride at time of request. Your subsidy will continue to apply as long as you have a balance remaining under the MPTP program**.
*Assist offers riders additional help to get in and out of the vehicle, and can also accommodate folding wheelchairs, walkers and collapsible scooters – these vehicles don’t, however, have wheelchair-accessible ramps or lifts. Driver-partners who offer Assist have a thorough understanding of how to assist riders with disability and mobility needs and have completed education developed in partnership with the Australian Network on Disability.
**MPTP users can also apply for additional subsidy through CPVV directly if they require it.