More taxis for the disabled will be introduced in the Perth metropolitan area.
Transport Minister Pam Beggs today said the Taxi Control Board was calling for expressions of interest from taxi owners interested in converting standard taxis to accommodate wheelchairs.
"The existing fleet of six multi-purpose taxis is insufficient to cope with demand and so the board has advised me it will be calling for expressions of interest for two additional vehicles," Mrs Beggs said.
"If the call results in a wider interest among taxi owners in converting their vehicles to multi-purpose use, I am sure the board will consider issuing more special licences."
Mrs Beggs said the introduction of the taxis had been a Government initiative with the State funding the first vehicles and leasing them to the industry to operate.
The special taxis now were privately-owned and operated and managed through a central co-ordination service.
"The introduction in September last year of the privately-owned and operated MPT service resulted in an improvement in the scope and efficiency of the service in meeting the transport demands from people in wheelchairs," Mrs Beggs said.
"The industry now recognises the need for further improvements in its service to people with disabilities."
Mrs Beggs said many customers of the multi-purpose taxis qualified for a taxi user's subsidy of 50 per cent on fares. More than 5,000 people benefited from the scheme in 1990-91.