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13 Sep, 2014

Taxi service for the disabled launched in Jakarta

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, September 11 2014 –  Indonesia’s largest taxi operator, Blue Bird Group, launched on Wednesday its new line of taxis designed for the disabled, Blue Bird Lifecare Taxi, the first of its kind in the country.

Care on wheeels: A disabled man tries out a Lifecare taxi during the launch of the new service at City Hall on Wednesday. Lifecare, owned by transportation firm PT Blue Bird, is the first transportation service in Indonesia to cater to the disabled, pregnant women and senior citizens. Other modes of transportation like buses and trains are not designed for the disabled.

Care on wheeels: A disabled man tries out a Lifecare taxi during the launch of the new service at City Hall.

The first five custom-made Nissan Serena Blue Bird taxis have power slide-up seats to ease access for the disabled.

“The cars are specifically designed with custom-made seats. We will station the taxis at hospitals and hotels where other Blue Bird taxis are stationed, and we use regular fares for the service,” Blue Bird Group president director Purnomo Prawiro said during the launch at City Hall.

The flag fall is set at Rp 7,000 (60 US cents) and the fare per kilometer at Rp 3,600, while the fare for delays is Rp 42,000 per hour.

Purnomo said Blue Bird Lifecare Taxi was one of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs.

Drivers of the Lifecare taxis have also received special training. “They were trained with basic emergency drills,” Blue Bird Group spokesman Teguh Wijayanto told The Jakarta Post.

Deputy Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama appreciated the company’s new line, saying the city would fully support the program. “It is very helpful for disabled people and I thanked Jakarta Transportation Agency for setting the fares at the regular level,” he said.

The deputy governor went on to say that the city administration would support companies with beneficial CSR programs.

“Jakarta does not have enough taxis, but the quota has been limited. I think we should support reliable taxi operators by adding to their quotas and revoking the quotas of operators with poor service,” he said.

Deputy Transportation Minister Bambang Susantono appreciated the launch of the service, saying the capital should set an example for other regions.

“This is a first. The launch of a taxi service for the disabled is in line with our program to provide transportation for all, and humane transportation. Such programs can be replicated in other regions,” he said.

Bambang also urged the company to print and distribute brochures in braille. During the launch, Ridwan Sumantri of the Indonesian Disabled Association expressed his appreciation of the new service.

“I appreciate Blue Bird’s attention toward people with disabilities. The custom-made seats make it easier for disabled people like me to get into the car,” he said.

Ridwan, however, warned of possible challenges that the company could face.

“There are various kinds of disabilities. The current setting […] won’t suit people with cerebral palsy, for example, who really need special care,” he said, adding that the association was ready to work with the company to provide training for the drivers.

— JP/ Sita W. Dewi