I have to admit that Bahrain isn’t the first place that comes to mind when somebody asks about wheelchair access; which is why an article touting the upcoming delivery of 300 accessible taxis to a new government-backed taxi service in that locale really wowed me.
Even better, they aren’t just ordering wheelchair-accessible taxis, but including wheelchair access as one of the features on all their new taxis. These custom-built taxis will also be equipped with GPS and monitored by a control center to make sure that passengers are not overcharged. Apparently that’s a big problem over there, as most of the local taxis have “missing” or broken” meters.
Although the deal isn’t finalized yet, the Arabian Taxi Company hopes to see the first batch of 50 taxis delivered in December.
There appears to be a high emphasis on customer service by the Arabian Taxi Company; and in fact that was the impetus for the introduction of the new vehicles. They are simply giving customers what they want and need, and wheelchair-access is part of the equation.
There is a severe shortage of taxis in Bahrain and the addition of these new vehicles will increase the fleet by 60%. There is some opposition from local drivers who fear this move will put them out of business, but the Arabian Taxi Company claims it will hire them if they complete their customer service program, and follow established policies and procedures.
The new taxis will be available 24 hours a day, with two drivers assigned to each vehicle.
So if a trip to Bahrain is in your future, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find accessible transportation once your arrive.