So you need to book a taxi with your guide dog? No drama!

As many of you who read this blog *and thanks heaps for doing so* will know I’ve had more than my fair share of taxi dramas. from being abandoned at a train station at 10.30 at night after a taxi I’d pre-booked refused to take me home because I had a guide dog, to being told |I had to put my guide dog in the boot.
The second one was perhaps worse than the first – as the driver was underhand, rude and made me feel like the worst guide dog owner in the world. In the end I had to tell him I’d had guide dogs for over 20 years, and there was absolutely nothing he knew about them which I didn’t.
So, it’s refreshing to find a company in Cardiff which was set up to support the community – and particularly people with disabilities. Drive taxis is a co-operative formed by former taxi drivers from local companies and other taxi firms.
I first heard about them from a former work colleague – and was eager to find out more.
Paul, one of the lovely drivers and founders of the company took James, my guide dog and I to a school talk. He was kind – and most of all he didn’t try and make James go in the boot – but asked me where I’d like to sit.
He also took me to the reception. This in itself was great, as I’ve been unceremoniously dumped by the side of a road by drivers with absolutely no idea where I am – let alone how to get to where I need to be.
He didn’t whinge about James hair – which he can shed in copious amounts at times.
Even that has caused trouble in the past. I’ve had drivers who have claimed they have to take the rest of the day off to clean the car.
I’ve had drivers charging me a pound extra for “having to hoover up the dog’s hair!” *needless to say I didn’t pay it*
One of the worst experiences was when I gave a driver a £10 note and he claimed it was a fiver!
The other thing which enhances the experience of using Drive taxis is if you have a concessionary bus pass, you get %10 off the fare.
Drive currently have around 10 drivers – and are hoping to recruit more in the coming weeks.
I wish them all the best. At last, I’ve found a taxi company which, as they quote on their Facebook page:
puts customers first!”

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