2 taxis in Corner Brook, Norris Point now wheelchair accessible

Two taxi drivers on the west coast were granted provincial money to install wheelchair ramps and seating so people with mobility issues can get a ride.
Taxi driver Todd Edmonds demonstrates how he straps in a wheelchair in the back of his van at a government funding announcement in Corner Brook Friday. (Colleen Connors)

Taxis in Corner Brook and Norris Point can now offer rides to people with mobility issues.

Two drivers on the province's west coast were granted $25,000 each to retrofit their vehicles to make them wheelchair and scooter accessible. 

Todd Edmonds, who has worked for Star Taxi for decades, applied for a grant through the province's Accessible Taxi Program, adding a wheelchair ramp and seat belts to his van in December. 

Todd Edmonds taxi now has a wheelchair accessible sign (Colleen Connors )

"It makes you feel good when you can go and pick up someone that can't get around very well and we can make it a lot easier for them. Yeah, it do make you feel good," said Edmonds.

Pittman's Taxi in Norris Point is also investing in an accessible vehicle, it was announced Friday in Corner Brook.

The newly retrofitted vans mean clients with mobility issues have the opportunity to call a cab at a moment's notice without having to plan for transportation in advance. 

'I can go to the mall. I can make my appointment to go to the doctor.' - Terry Gardner

Terry Gardner, who's blind, said these accessible taxis are helpful for him as well. 

"The very first thing I noticed when Todd opened the door for me, because he came to the door and met me, was that this van is also set up for low vision as well," said Gardner.

Terry Gardner with the Coalition of Persons with Disabilities says he will use the accessible taxi to get to his appointments in Corner Brook. (Colleen Connors)

Accessible taxis change how Gardner gets around Corner Brook.

"I can go to the mall. I can make my appointment to go to the doctor or the hospital, or wherever, my friend's place. You can do that now. The opportunity is here," he said.

Previous grants have been awarded to taxi companies in St. John's, Dildo and Grand Falls-Windsor.