Wheelchair accessible vehicles
This page includes information about vehicles equipped with modifications to provide safe on-demand transport services for people seated in wheelchairs.
Are you a passenger transport driver? Visit Transporting people with disability for more information about working with passengers with disability and your responsibilities under the Taxi User Subsidy Scheme.
What are wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs)?
Wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) are on-demand passenger transport vehicles that are used to transport people with disability, and any mobility aids they may use (including wheelchairs).
WAVs require specific vehicle modifications to safely transport passengers with disability – this may include wheelchair ramps, hoists and other tiedown or restraint equipment. Read the WAV standards and modifications section below to find out the technical requirements.
WAVs are not designed to carry or load/unload passengers while they are seated on a mobility scooter (gopher), and it is unsafe to do so. Read more about working with mobility aids and devices.
WAVs can carry all types of taxi passengers but are obliged by law to give priority to passengers in wheelchairs.
Please note: people who use wheelchairs may still be able to access taxi services in conventional vehicles, depending on their accessibility needs.
Wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) equipment and modifications
WAVs must comply with the following standards
- AS/NZS 3856.1:1998, Hoists and ramps for people with disabilities – Vehicle mounted, Part 1: Product requirements;
- AS/NZS 3856.2:1998, Hoists and ramps for people with disabilities – Vehicle mounted, Part 2: Installation requirements;
- AS/NZS 10542.1:2015, Technical systems and aids for people with disability – Wheelchair tiedown and occupant-restraint systems, Part 1: Requirements and test methods for all systems; and
- The provisions of Part 9 of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 that apply to taxis; and
- Section 12.5 of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002.
Installation of hoists, ramps, tiedowns and occupant-restraint systems are classified as complex vehicle modifications. Complex modifications require approval from the Department of Transport – find out more on the PTV equipment and modification requirements page.
Camera surveillance units for WAVs
As WAVs must be authorised as an on-demand rank or hail passenger transport vehicle (taxi), they must have a camera surveillance unit (CSU) installed that meets current standards. Due to the size and layout of WAV taxis, one camera may not be sufficient to capture all required areas of the vehicle.
Work with your camera installer to ensure that the device you choose for your WAV has sufficient cameras to capture footage of all passengers from the torso up.
For more information about CSUs, visit Camera surveillance units.
Imported wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs)
The Department of Transport (DoT) is aware of several models of vehicle that can be imported to Western Australia, intended to be used as WAV taxis.
Imported WAV taxis must meet the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport (see the Wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) modifications section above for more information).
Many models of imported WAV do not meet these standards for certain reasons – for example, the internal dimensions and door sizes are too small. Vehicles that don’t meet these standards cannot be used to provide WAV taxi services in Western Australia.
If you are considering purchasing an imported WAV, please email On-demand Transport at email@example.com to discuss your options.
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Modification Grant 2022-23
To help increase accessible transport options for people with disability, the Department of Transport (DoT) provides grants of up to $20,000 to assist eligible operators with the cost of installing a wheelchair hoist and restraint systems in a wheelchair accessible on-demand rank or hail (taxi) vehicle.
Expressions of interest (EOIs) for the WAVMG for 2022-23 have now closed.
The grant process is now proceeding with those whose EOI met the eligibility criteria.
The industry will be advised when the EOI recommences.
Regional Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Taxi Service Grant Scheme
To help ensure that regional Wheelchair Accessible (WAV) taxi services can be provided where sufficient demand exists, the State Government has committed to an increased budget of $1.5M over four years to:
- introduce a new Regional WAV Taxi Service Grant; and
- improve the established WAV Modification Grant, increasing the grant amount from $15,000 to $20,000.
Read more about the Regional WAV Taxi Service Grant Scheme.