There are 4 such schemes in Powys - 2 in Montgomery (Welshpool and Machynlleth), 1 in Radnor (Knighton) and 1 in Brecknock (Builth Wells). The areas covered by these schemes vary, but a 10 mile radius would be the maximum area from which membership would be drawn.
All the schemes operate in a similar way; the Voluntary Group raises funds from a variety of sources and uses this money to subsidise taxi journeys made by its members. Members are issued with tokens of 50p each up to a total of £50 or £100 for those living in remoter areas. These tokens can then be used for half of the cost of a taxi journey, e.g. a journey normally costing £2 would cost only £1 and 50 of these journeys could be made throughout a year.
Taxi firms are able to claim back the value of the tokens from the Voluntary Group and those firms wishing to participate in the scheme have to enter into an agreement with the Voluntary Group.
Membership numbers range from 36 in the smallest schemes to well over 168 in the larger schemes. In the majority of schemes membership is restricted to those people who are elderly, disabled or suffer from a mental or physical condition which makes accessing normal forms of transport difficult.
It is worthwhile looking at ways in which Taxi Card Schemes can improve their operation because they provide an affordable, flexible form of transport to disadvantaged groups in rural areas.