November 5, 2011

NEWS: First Wheelchair Accessible Taxis for Casablanca, Morocco

CASABLANCA, MOROCCO - The first wheelchair accessible taxis have been put into operation on the streets of Casablanca, Morocco, that country's largest city with a population of 3 million people. The director of Taxis Vert, who had previously worked for a taxi service in Belgium which operated accessible cabs, saw the need was there in Casablanca and thought it was worth starting. The 3 vehicles are specifically equipped to transport wheelchair passengers, and the fare is the same as a regular taxi. The Moroccan Ministry of Social Development and the Amicale Marocaine des Handicapés (AMH) collaborated on this project. It is part of a broader initiative by the Moroccan government to integrate persons with disabilities into the society and the economy of the country. There is approximately 1.5 million people in Morocco identified as disabled. 90% of them have no access to basic healthcare, employment, or education. Sources: Des taxis pour handicapés à Casablanca and Mobilité des personnes souffrant de handicap - Un petit taxi opérationnel à Casablanca.

TAXICABS IN MOROCCO - There are two types of taxis in Morocco, grand and petite. Grand Taxis are a shared-ride service that operates with little regulation. They are affordable for most people, but are often older vehicles with no-air conditioning and drivers will crowd in extra passengers than the car is designed for. They are usually painted a white or light color. Petite Taxis are operated as a single trip per customer or group. They are better regulated, more expensive, and the vehicles are generally in good condition. Each city uses different colors, such as red (shown above) for Casablanca.

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