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Old 06-07-2012, 06:57 PM
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Laura Laura is offline
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Default Taxi and Limousine Commission form working group to look at wheelchair-accessible ca

from the NY Daily News:
Taxi and Limousine Commission form working group to look at wheelchair-accessible cab options
Comes on heels of judge allowing lawsuits against Bloomberg taxi plans to proceed

Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 3:32 PM
The Taxi and Limousine Commission is taking a second look at whether or not the entire yellow cab fleet should be accessible to the handicapped.

The agency is forming an accessibility working group that will be chaired by a commissioner who says a wheelchair user should be able to ride in any of the 13,200 taxis that are licensed and regulated by the city. Only 230 or so now have wheelchair ramps.

TLC Chairman David Yassky said he still believes the agency’s more limited plan — putting 2,000 new taxicabs with wheelchair ramps on the streets and establishing a dispatching system — is best for riders and the industry.

But Yassky said he didn’t want to “get a head of” the committee, which commissioner Frank Carone will lead. The goal is to ensure a wheelchair user can get a cab where the fleet mainly operates - midtown and downtown, Yassky said.

“Frank has said clearly that he believes there needs to be 13,000 accessible vehicles,” Yassky said. “Others would would say you can do it with fewer vehicles. That’s what the working group is for - to iron that out.”

The working group will include commission members, advocates for the disabled, drivers and fleet owner representatives, Carone said.

“My ultimate goal is 100% accessibility for many reasons,” Carone, a Brooklyn lawyer, said. “It unconscionable to me that this iconic fleet, the symbol of the city, is not available to those whose freedom of movement is compromised, whether they use a wheelchair or a can or have some other sort of disability.”

The formation of the panel comes as the city’s plans are in legal limbo.

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge last week issued a temporary order blocking the city from expanding the yellow cab fleet while also creating a new class of livery cars that could pick up street hails in northern Manhattan and the other boroughs. Fleet owners argued the plan is illegal because it wasn’t approved by the City Council. Their lawsuit can move forward, the judge ruled.

Earlier this year, advocates for the disabled filed a lawsuit claiming the city is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and each cab that is retired has to be replaced with one equipped with ramps for the handicapped.

“Yassky should read the hand writing on the wall: 100% accessibility is the future of the the taxi industry,” Assemblyman Micah Kellner (D-Manhattan), a leading advocate for the disabled. “If he isn't going to lead, he should get out of the way."

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Old 06-10-2012, 05:01 PM
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Michelle Michelle is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 245

After all these years of advocacy and protesting and the Taxi of Tomorrow fiasco, they've finally decided to look into it?
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