A cab in Porto, Source: Porto Municipality

Porto subsidizes taxi rides to vaccination centres

Porto subsidizes taxi rides to vaccination centres

The aim is two-fold: help taxi industry and speed up vaccinations

Starting today, 9 March, people in Porto who wish to get vaccinated against coronavirus can use a taxi service to and from the immunization sites. This became possible after the City Council signed an agreement with the two major cab companies operating in the Portuguese city, Raditáxis and Táxis Invicta, which regulates the subsidizing of such journeys. It was reported that the cost per trip in one direction will cost 2 euros making it affordable for a lot more people.

Public-private collaboration in times of need

The authorities considered this step as a necessary and beneficial in more ways than one. Normally, taking a taxi is more expensive than using one of the public transit options, however, in this case it was deemed useful to subsidize the cab rides because cars can provide better accessibility in terms of bringing people directly to the entrance of a vaccination centre.

Residents from vulnerable groups, such as those who are both disabled (or with reduced mobility) and of low-income status might be deterred from seeking vaccination given the combination of financial and physical obstacles ahead of them. That is why, municipal funding of these taxi rides makes good sense and the hope is that it will encourage people from such groups to go ahead with vaccinations.

Taxi services would provide them with a better convenience and the added value is that 2 members of the same household can go together for the same price, meaning that in that case taking the cab becomes even cheaper.

Furthermore, the Municipality of Porto is taking pride in being able to also give a helping hand to the local taxi industry with that action. As a result of the pandemic, the use of cabs has also been on the decline, so this comes at a good time to promote this service once again.

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