For wheelchair users who don’t own a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, there are several other ways of getting around. However, public transport is not always reliable or accessible. Power wheelchair users, for example, might not be able to make use of UberASSIST, as their chairs might not fit into the Uber vehicle.
Learn more about UberASSIST here.
Wheelchair users in the Gauteng area now have a few more options, as two new wheelchair-accessible transport services open their doors.
This year, Carel van der Merwe and Grant Holland started a wheelchair-accessible transport service, Charly’s Care. Van der Merwe was an Uber driver with more than 3 000 trips to his name and a rating of 4,86. The two met during an Uber trip, promptly became friends and started discussing business ideas. They realised that there was a real need for accessible transport for people with disabilities.
Part of the inspiration came from Hollard’s brother, Calvin Lee, who was in car accident in 2014 that left him a quadriplegic. His family used to struggle to transport him and so, in 2015, they bought an adapted vehicle with a hydraulic lift – and a business was begun.
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) hire
Matthew Rolston, MD of C2S Auto, has a wheelchair-accessible vehicle for hire. The vehicle is equipped with a wheelchair ramp. A daily rental costs about R1 500, and, for an additional R650, a driver or guide will be provided.
The WAV Hire head office is in Cape Town, but vehicles can be sent to Johannesburg if required (at the cost of the client). Rolston became involved in the accessible-transport business after his aunt was diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND).
He says: “It got to the stage where she needed a vehicle of this type. We bought one for her through WAV Hire, which imports the vehicles, already modified, directly from the UK.
“I understand the frustration and inconvenience of being in a wheelchair and so I was happy to assist. Ideally, we would love to provide the service free of charge; however, these vehicles are expensive to buy and maintain. We are open to discussing discounts for special occasions or events, however.”
For more information or to hire a vehicle, contact WAV Hire at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Rolston directly at 076 269 0615.