The new service that will dispatch taxi transport for persons with disabilities and elderly people in Espoo and other municipalities in the region has been named Western Uusimaa Transport Services. Coordinated by the City of Espoo, it will progressively take over the organisation of transport services throughout western Uusimaa starting in the summer of 2019. In Finnish, the service is called Länsi-Uudenmaan kulkukeskus.
The steering group of the Transportations 2019 project decided on the name in a meeting on 12 December 2018. The steering group includes representatives of every municipality in the area and the Elderly Council and the Disability Council of the City of Espoo.
Suggestions for the Finnish name of the new taxi transport service were collected throughout November on the project website. Its developer clients voted on their favourite suggestions in early December. The name chosen by the steering group, Länsi-Uudenmaan kulkukeskus, was also the developer clients’ favourite.
The upcoming changes apply to the transport services referred to in the Disability Services Act and the Social Welfare Act.
Misunderstandings on matters such as taxi waiting times
There have been rumours among transport service users for example about the time a taxi is allowed to take to arrive. Representatives of client associations have asked how the City of Espoo can consider 60 minutes to be a reasonable waiting time and why the taxi cannot make stops along the way without a prior permission from the dispatch centre.
“The 60-minute waiting time that we have discussed means that the ride must arrive within 60 minutes after an order is placed. If a client orders a ride in advance, it will arrive at the requested time and the client will not need to wait at all. When it comes to stops along the way, we have not even discussed the matter yet,” says Project Manager Pasi Ojaniemi, correcting the misunderstandings.
Clients have also expressed their worry over not being able to use one regular taxi driver in the future. There is no reason to worry. The principles of the new transport services already state that clients who have justified reasons for always having the same taxi driver will be entitled to it.
You can still have your say – become a developer client!
All the things that are rumoured to have already been decided will actually only be decided when the transport service instructions are approved. The instructions are being prepared by municipal officials, and developer clients will be heard throughout the process. You can become part of the developer client network until 21 December 2018.
The social and health services committees of each municipality involved will decide on the instructions in their meetings in early 2019, based on administrative preparation and comments from the developer clients.
“Our goal is to build a safe, accessible, customer-oriented service that will provide transport services in accordance with the Disability Services Act and the Social Welfare Act. We listen to our developer client network throughout the drafting process, and they also get to pilot the service before it is rolled out,” Ojaniemi says.