Exclusive 11:55 10 Jan 2024

Kyiv volunteers offer free accessible taxis for Ukrainian veterans

A specialized minibus for veterans with serious injuries

Soldiers can use a taxi service for free as part of a new project active in the Ukrainian capital. Rubryka explains how this solution came about and its current progress. 

What's the problem?

Many Ukrainian defenders get wounded in combat and return from the front with severe musculoskeletal injuries that lead to disabilities and restricted mobility. Meanwhile, during their treatment and rehabilitation, they often need to move around the city — for paperwork, visits to clinics, bandage changes, and more.

What's the solution?

The charity foundation "Doves of Peace" has launched a taxi service in Kyiv for war veterans with serious injuries within the pilot project "Free Inclusive Transport for Veterans." This initiative is a significant step toward creating a truly accessible environment for those who have been injured defending their homeland.

How does it work?

"Our foundation provides free inclusive transport for the brave defenders of our country who, due to injuries sustained in combat, have limited mobility. We aim to provide a convenient and safe means for their transportation to medical facilities, rehabilitation centers, and other places where they receive assistance and support," the "Doves of Peace" Foundation told Rubryka. "This vehicle, more precisely, a minibus, enables the foundation to fulfill its mission of providing aid and easing the daily lives of mobility-restricted veterans, those on wheelchairs or prosthetics, because now, we see a pressing need for the adaptation of veterans returning from the front with various injuries to everyday life and providing them with support. In our opinion, this is the least that everyone participating in the project can do to help and express gratitude to our defenders for their bravery and determination." 

Key features of the specialized transport for veterans:

  • Accessibility — the vehicle is equipped with a special lift or ramp to facilitate easy exit and entry for wheelchair users.
  • Spacious cabin — a wide and comfortable cabin allows passengers with limited mobility to have enough space for a comfortable journey.
  • Special seats — the vehicle is equipped with special seats and fixation systems to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers.
  • Climate control — individual climate control helps ensure optimal conditions for a comfortable journey.

The service covers transportation of the military to their destination and, if needed, in the opposite direction. The foundation's employees and volunteers help use the vehicle's lift during boarding and arrival at the destination. The service operates within the capital and, in individual cases, in the region.

Таксі для ветеранів

Dedicated free taxis provide safe and comfortable travel for soldiers in wheelchairs.

For whom is the service available?

Таксі для ветеранів

A serviceman who successfully underwent rehabilitation was transported from the rehabilitation center to his home in another city.

The free ride service is not limited to wheelchair-bound defenders only. Those who use crutches and have injuries or impairments, including eye injuries or loss of vision, can also benefit from the service.

Overall, the service is available to soldiers who:

  • Are unable to move independently and completely rely on the assistance of others.
  • Can move independently using assistive devices, primarily wheelchairs, and/or with the help of others.
  • Can move independently but with significantly longer travel times or only for short distances.

Does this really work?

A serviceman who successfully completed the rehabilitation period was transported from the rehabilitation center to another city.

The "Free Inclusive Transport for Veterans" project by the "Doves of Peace" Foundation started a month ago — beginning December 2023. The foundation says that it's becoming increasingly challenging to count how many trips the vehicle has made in these short one-and-a-half months.

"Usually, the use of this service by the 'Doves of Peace' Foundation is not limited to a single trip. For example, a defender called the vehicle to go to the hospital for suture dressing, which is a round trip. If this happens three times a week, that's already six trips per person," said the foundation representative, Anton. "As practice shows, the project has been well-received by everyone who has already used it. It's great that there is demand, and the charity foundation 'Doves of Peace' will happily continue working in this direction and take steps to expand our project to other cities in Ukraine. We aim to assist as many Ukrainian veterans as possible."

More helpful solutions!

A specialized minibus by the "Doves of Peace" Foundation is currently the only vehicle in the capital adapted for the comfortable transportation of veterans in wheelchairs. However, the foundation stresses that this is just the beginning. The fundraising project to purchase specially equipped inclusive transport is ongoing.

"In the future, we want to expand our range of assistance and acquire several specially equipped vehicles, so we started raising funds for another inclusive transport specifically designed for city trips. We plan to raise the entire necessary amount of ₴400,000 by the end of the first quarter of 2024," the foundation reported, urging Ukrainians to join and support the initiative "Free Inclusive Transport for Veterans."

Joining and providing any assistance is quite simple — you can do it by visiting the charity foundation's website and becoming a project participant through the "Support" button.

In related news, the Ukrainian taxi service Uklon has launched a class of vehicles for people with disabilities who use wheelchairs.

A chatbot will now operate in test mode for ordering rides in social taxis designed for the transportation of people with disabilities in Kyiv.

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