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Winnipeg WAV Reduces Accessible Taxi Wait Times

May 29, 2024 1:34 PM | News

Winnipeg WAV

The Winnipeg WAV pilot project is intended to provide passengers with an accessible ride. (CITY OF WINNIPEG / YOUTUBE)

WINNIPEG — A city program to increase capacity and reduce wait times for wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAV) is proving to be successful.

The WAV pilot program began two years ago and resulted in 13,213 rides in 2023 — up from just 4,400 trips in 2022.

“Winnipeg WAV has been a great success story for our city, showcasing how innovation and dedication to customer service can transform lives,” said Mayor Scott Gillingham.

“Not only have we improved mobility options for residents, but we have provided essential backup capacity for our Transit Plus service, and supported local entrepreneurs in the vehicle-for-hire industry.”

The city expects to reach more than 20,000 trips by the end of this year.

Data shows 93 percent of passengers have also been picked up early or waited no more than 20 minutes — down from wait times of up to two hours prior to Winnipeg WAV.

The service offers users a centralized way to book their trip, with accessible vehicles from multiple taxi companies available. Users can set their pickup and drop-off locations, and Winnipeg WAV will automatically select the nearest available vehicle to ensure the fastest service.

Duffy’s Taxi and Unicity Taxi are among the partners in the program.

“What is most important to us is the positive feedback from WAV customers,” said Ram Valluru, general manager of Duffy’s and Winnipeg WAV project manager. “The central dispatch is also being used to dispatch some Winnipeg Transit Plus trips that WAV operators can provide.”

The Independent Living Resource Centre provides enhanced accessibility training as part of the program.

The city is aiming to make Winnipeg WAV a permanent program later this year.

Riders can download the app, book online or call (204) 986-4928 (4WAV).