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30th May 2024
Enhancing Mobility: Legal Reforms Needed for Accessible Ride-Hailing

The independence of people with disabilities is increasing in various areas of life, but it is often hindered by the lack of accessible services. One such service is taxi and ride-hailing. The Commission for the Monitoring of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recommends that the accessibility of these services in Lithuania be regulated by law.

The Commission’s position states that the special transport services currently operating in Lithuania are insufficient for the needs of people with mobility disabilities. Furthermore, the use of public transport is often complicated by the inaccessibility of the living environment and movement routes, such as sidewalks. Taxis, ride-hailing, and car-sharing services are necessary alternatives that are not accessible yet.

What does The Commission recommend?

  • to legally regulate and ensure that persons with mobility disabilities can order a properly adapted taxi car at any time and receive appropriate services of drivers with an adapted car;
  • to provide suitable and dignified conditions for the use of services for persons with mobility disabilities, as well as for other users, ensuring safety. In all cases, when traveling, ensure that a passenger with a disability can safely enter and exit the vehicle and travel safely and comfortably in it;
  • to organize effective maintenance of vehicles that can safely transport passengers with disabilities;
  • create a list of customized vehicles that would be available to the public through online ride-hailing service booking platforms;
  • compile a list of vehicles that can accommodate passengers with assistance dogs;
  • to ensure and create conditions for continuous improvement of the competences of persons providing taxi and ride-hailing services (regarding the proper provision of services to persons with disabilities and respectful communication);
  • to amend to the Road Transport Code and other legal acts to oblige service providers to transport passengers with disabilities and assist them without an additional fee;
  • to regulate the duties of taxis, ride-hailing service providers, drivers: for example, ask passengers with disabilities about the necessary assistance, if necessary – provide it so that the person can safely use the vehicle, can travel with a wheelchair / walker / other technical assistance devices / dogs assistants / would fit both with a wheelchair and accompanying persons.

In April 2024, a draft amendment to the Road Transport Code was registered in the Seimas, which aims to improve the accessibility of taxi and ride-hailing services for people with disabilities.