Paul Bennati and his son Brayden, 20 say they are being ignored by local taxi services. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Paul Bennati and his son Brayden, 20 say they are being ignored by local taxi services. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

TAXI WOES: Father claims son is left behind by cabs

A Mount Louisa father and son have been left frustrated by a Townsville taxi service.

Brayden Bennati, 20, has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, which means he relies on cabs to get around.

But since Townsville Taxis was rebranded under the national 13cabs group, Brayden and his dad Paul say he has been left stranded too often with taxis not showing up.

"They're completely ignoring him," Paul said.

"He caught Townsville Taxis all the time. We've even tried to get the old drivers but we just can't.

"You try to ring a cab for him now and you won't get one. Something has to be done.

"We can't go through Checker or Uber because they don't have the (wheelchair) vans.

"One time he was at Kingpin and his taxi turned up but there were two girls there and the taxi picked them up and took off."

Paul Bennati and his son Brayden, 20 say they are being ignored by local taxi services. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Paul Bennati and his son Brayden, 20 say they are being ignored by local taxi services. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

Another time Paul said Brayden was left outside Kingpin Townsville for several hours after it closed.

Staff and strangers at the centre also tried to phone for a taxi but were ignored, he said.

The pair also claim a taxi booked to pick them up from their Mount Louisa home stopped next door and took off, despite them being out on their front lawn.

The lack of reliability for Brayden means he can't get out of the house, damaging his hopes of getting work.

The claims come just two weeks after other frustrated travellers said they were waiting well over an hour for taxis at Townsville airport, creating drama for tourists and local families with children.

Paul Bennati and his son Brayden, 20 say they are being ignored by local taxi services. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.
Paul Bennati and his son Brayden, 20 say they are being ignored by local taxi services. PICTURE: MATT TAYLOR.

A spokesman for 13cabs said the company would look into complaints made in the Townsville area.

"We apologise for any inconvenience suffered by ­customers, specifically vulnerable customers, and we'll endeavour to do what we can to make sure it doesn't happen in the future," he said.

"Wheelchair-accessible taxis (are) part of our commitment to a universally accessible service - it's something we believe in strongly.

"We have a dedicated customer care team if anyone has service difficulties, and we encourage anyone to get in contact via email or phone 13 22 27 so it can be looked into."

Originally published as TAXI WOES: Father claims son is left behind by cabs


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