Wheelchair-bound CQUniversity student left stranded by taxi company
LEFT stranded and in desperate need of a taxi, Shannon Wagner couldn't help but think everyone should be treated equal.
The wheelchair-bound CQUniversity student said she never had any trouble travelling around Rockhampton until last month after a dinner with her mum who had visited from Springsure.
"I needed a wheelchair taxi to get back to the uni where I live and when I rang them up the first time, they said they were sending a wheelchair taxi,” she recalled.
"They didn't come for a while, so I rang them up again to see where they were and they said no wheelchair taxis were on the road.
"I didn't know what to do after that.”
Shannon's mother Sharon claimed Yellow Cab Co, the company which operates the Rockhampton taxi service, advised the pair to stay in a motel overnight or arrange for an ambulance to take Shannon home.
Neither were viable options, so Shannon phoned a taxi driver who had given her his card earlier, He got out of bed to pick them up and save the evening.
Though an upsetting ordeal for Shannon, aged 32, her experience has seen Yellow Cabs change for the better with someone now on call at all times to provide a maxi taxi service.
Yellow Cab Co general manager Bill Parker said the incident was a "chink in their armour” which should have never happened.
He said while he was "concerned” there were no cars on the road on this occasion, taxi drivers were small business operators who struggled to offer their services without public demand.
He attributed external political forces and the transport app Uber as both having a detrimental impact on the vital community service.
"The demand is slim and limited, that's obviously got something to do with the economy, let alone Uber, and that was unfortunately the reason why those people were having trouble getting a car,” Mr Parker said.
"And it shouldn't have happened and the issue has been addressed, the Rockhampton branch are enforcing a roster system so there is always a car available after hours.”
Shannon said the company had apologised and given her taxi vouchers, but hoped no one else would find themselves in her situation.
"It's important for people in wheelchairs to get around at all hours of the day, they could get left stranded and what would they do then?” she asked
"It's important for all people to be treated equally, including people in wheelchairs.”