Melbourne airport has announced that they would be changing where passengers can locate their transport services when departing the airport.
In the new plan which will be operational next week, passengers with disabilities will be forced into an obstacle course merely to reach their wheelchair accessible taxi.
The new plan, creates an Uber rank front and centre as passengers leave the terminals, pushing taxi services hundreds of metres away despite taxis accounting for 70% of all trips.
Transport Matters MP Rod Barton believes it’s due to a secretive commercial deal between Uber and the airport, and the airport didn’t consult with disability groups prior to making the decision.
He says it’s “a shameful decision” which will force disabled passengers to navigate a maze to find a wheelchair accessible taxi.
Disabled passengers will be forced to make their way the length of the airport to reach a taxi at terminal 1 or head to terminal 4, which forces them to go up a level just to reach a taxi rank.
Currently, Uber does not provide wheelchair accessible vehicles and have claimed they have no intention to provide these services in the future.
Melbourne airport has cleared the way for Uber, providing them with an unfair commercial advantage while dismissing the needs of vulnerable and disabled passengers.
Barton is severely disappointed to see Melbourne airport was bought out so easily by a multi-national corporation that cares only about lining the pockets of Silicon Valley billionaires.
“This is an appalling decision. This is a shameful commercial grab to prioritise the Uber business model over disability services and industry participants.” said Member for Eastern Metropolitan and the Leader of the Transport Matters Party Rod Barton MP:
“Disabled passengers will now have to travel the length of the airport and up a lift in a wheelchair dragging a bag just to reach a wheelchair accessible vehicle.”
“My understanding is that no disability groups have been contacted prior to this decision being made. This is the cost of privatising public assets.”