26 June 2018
Gore retains Total Mobility service
The Total Mobility service will continue to be available to Gore residents from 1 July albeit with a new provider and new personalised ID cards.
The Ridewise swipe card system is being introduced across Southland, bringing the province into line with many other parts of New Zealand where the scheme is available. Total Mobility clients will use the card in much the same way as the old sticker system, however, they will need to ensure the taxi driver swipes their card at the beginning of the trip.
Total Mobility travel in Gore will be provided by EziCabs, an existing scheme provider in Invercargill. Users can request a taxi pickup by phoning 08004ATAXI (0800 428294).
EziCabs does not have a wheelchair accessible van or hoist. However, it is hoped a solution to provide subsidised travel for those needing a wheelchair hoist will be found in the near future. In the interim, anyone requiring this service is advised to contact Invercargill City Council Roading Manager Russell Pearson, phone (03) 211 1777.
Gore District Council Transport Manager Peter Standring said the swipe cards were more efficient and cost effective than the stickers. The cards would be valid for about five years.
“The stickers involved a lot of administration as they had to be reprinted and posted to clients annually, and were often lost or misplaced.
“Personalised ID cards mean the driver can validate that the user is an approved client.”
There are about 300 Total Mobility clients in Gore. The Invercargill City Council, which administers the scheme Southland-wide, has written to all active clients and will be sending out ID cards.
All clients need to provide a photo. Any Gore residents wanting help with a photo can call into the Council’s main office.
“Our staff are happy to help take a photo and send it to Invercargill,” Mr Standring said.
Acknowledging there had been some uncertainty about the future of the scheme, Mr Standring said the Council was pleased the service would still be available to Gore residents.
“We wanted to ensure continuity of an affordable service and worked hard with the existing provider Gore Taxis. However, when they decided not to continue with the service, we approached potential new operators.”
Mr Standring urged scheme users to make sure they get a new Ridewise swipe card as soon as possible, if they haven’t already.
Ridewise cards give users access to subsidised travel with approved operators across the country, including in Dunedin.
Apart from the new cards, the service will remain the same for most users with a 50% subsidy on travel up to $50. There is currently no limit on how many times it can be used. The person travelling still needs to pay for the remaining 50% of travel costs at the end of the journey.