The Commission's submission to the Inquiry into Ride Sourcing Services conducted by the Standing Committee on Economy and Infrastructure noted that many people with disabilities rely on point-to-point transport to access education, employment, retail, health and social services, as well as to participate in cultural and community life more broadly. Point-to-point transport is particularly important given that many people with disabilities have limited or no access to public transport or their own car.
The new ride sourcing industry may open new opportunities for people with disabilities to access a broader range of transportation services where those services are accessible. To date, legal protections under Victoria's Equal Opportunity Act 2010 and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities have ensured that people with disabilities have accessible taxi services.
The question is whether these protections apply sufficiently to the new ride sourcing industry, and if not, how should these deficiencies be addressed. The Commission is of the view that, where there is uncertainly or gaps in the level of protections currently applied to the new ride sourcing industry, it is the obligation of government to take action to ensure that equitable point-to-point transportation services for people with disabilities are maintained and improved.