Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: NYC new fleet of taxis won't be wheelchair accessible after all.

  1. #1

    NYC new fleet of taxis won't be wheelchair accessible after all.

    Evidently, the fleet of new taxis in New York City is NOT going to be wheelchair accessible. You might recall reading here or elsewhere that New York City has been working for a couple of years on a project called Taxi of Tomorrow with a stated goal to make the all New York taxis universally accessible. Fast forward to the eve of contracts being awarded. Mayor Bloomberg's office has issued comments that the fleet will not be wheelchair accessible and that people needing this kind of service will be able to call a special phone number (311) to order a wheelchair accessible taxi. (See copy of story below)

    Anyone been to London, England? Twenty plus years ago, Prince Charles initiated a program that would make all London taxis wheelchair accessible, slowly phased in as the fleet turned over. Well, today, thanks to that foresight, the London taxi fleet is about 99% wheelchair accessible.

    It is reprehensible that a city like New York can't and/or won't make the original goal of Taxi of Tomorrow a reality.

    Boo Mayor Bloomberg!!!

    GJ

    NYC Comptroller: New Taxis Should Be Accessible
    By By KAREN MATTHEWS Associated Press
    NEW YORK December 14, 2012 (AP)
    New York City Comptroller John Liu moved Friday to reject the city's contract for a new taxi fleet because the so-called "taxi of tomorrow" is not wheelchair-accessible.

    "In our view, this contract ignores the civil rights of New Yorkers who use wheelchairs by failing to make wheelchair-accessible vehicles," said Liu, a likely candidate in next year's race to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    It was unclear whether Liu's action would have any effect, as Bloomberg said on his WOR radio show Friday that the program would go forward over Liu's objections. "We can go ahead and do it anyway, which we will," he said.

    City officials approved a plan in September to make the Nissan NV200 minivan the new yellow cabs. The Nissans will replace the more than 13,000 existing cabs as they age and are retired. They will be phased-in beginning in the fall of 2013.

    The Taxi and Limousine Commission has said that people in wheelchairs can call 311 to get an accessible taxi.

    Wheelchair users at Liu's news conference said that's not good enough.

    "We don't want a system that's special, we don't want a system that's separate," said Edith Prentiss, chairwoman of the Taxis for All Campaign. "We want a system in which we can go out and put our hand in the air like every other person."

    Liu said yellow cabs "are a worldwide symbol" of New York City, but just 231 of them are accessible to those in wheelchairs.

    "For wheelchair users, our taxi fleet is a separate but unequal system, and it is offensive to the inclusive spirit of New York City," he said.

  2. #2
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    1,565
    I am not one wanting to see the entire world wheelchair accessible, I rue the day every beach is paved and the mountains are bulldozed flat. But in this instance I hope they are successful in over-turning this decision to order Nv200 s.

    Assuming customers are not allowed in the front seat (is this true?) from the pictures I've seen that transfer into the backseat would be a real bear due to the door-opening configuration of that Nissan. Wouldn't be a problem in most Canadian cities because the cabbies let me transfer into the front seat.. but for travelling down south I think I'd be riding on the floor in the back after a night of hard drinking.

    Also the fact that NYC sets the precedent for vehicle brand/type that all North American cities use for their fleets would mean dealing with under-resourced accessible transportation more and more as I age. Boo.

    On the other hand.. what doesn't kill me makes me stronger. I guess I'll have to see one in person to say for certain if the Nv200 backseat is as bad as it looks. Anyone used one yet? Looks like the ones used in the UK all have a side-entry ramp?

  3. #3
    I hate to say it, but I saw this coming. When the city first announced the contest, accessibility was a requirement, but only some of the submitted designs included ramps. Instead of rejecting those entrants, the city downgraded accessibility to a "desired feature". Then, though a sleek modern design from Karsan with not one but TWO ramps became a popular favorite, the Nissan was chosen instead and wheelchair users were promised they could be converted. Now we're back to square one, with wheelchair accessibility an "undue hardship" again. The Taxi of Tomorrow turned into the inaccessible Van of Yesteryear.

  4. #4
    It has been 40 years since I lived in NYC, back then subway was completely inaccessible as were all buses. Cabs would in most cases not pick a wheeler up due to time and effort involved in stowing chair. There was a private car parking permit called an SVIP (Special Vehicle Identification Permit) which the cops didn't understand well resulting in a lot of time spent writing appeals of bad tickets. Given the subterranean nature of the subway system it is hard to conceptualize how that could be made widely accessible. I would like to hear from current NYC residents as to the level of subway accessibility and regarding how usable the bus lifts are. If these other modes of transport are still poor then the taxi situation is unforgivable. Seems to me that Bloomburg is very stubborn and arrogant I keep remembering how intransigent and dumb he was re his initial refusal to cancel the marathon just after Sandy. Regarding the transfer issues to the Nissan taxis - It is not acceptable that vehicles are marginally usable by paras and strong quads, public transport throughout the city needs to be usable by power chair users. If all London cabs are truly accessible then NYC should provide the same as well as some education of cabbies regarding the need to actally stop and pick up wheelchair users when they hail a cab.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ancientgimp View Post
    It has been 40 years since I lived in NYC, back then subway was completely inaccessible as were all buses. Cabs would in most cases not pick a wheeler up due to time and effort involved in stowing chair. There was a private car parking permit called an SVIP (Special Vehicle Identification Permit) which the cops didn't understand well resulting in a lot of time spent writing appeals of bad tickets. Given the subterranean nature of the subway system it is hard to conceptualize how that could be made widely accessible. I would like to hear from current NYC residents as to the level of subway accessibility and regarding how usable the bus lifts are. If these other modes of transport are still poor then the taxi situation is unforgivable. Seems to me that Bloomburg is very stubborn and arrogant I keep remembering how intransigent and dumb he was re his initial refusal to cancel the marathon just after Sandy. Regarding the transfer issues to the Nissan taxis - It is not acceptable that vehicles are marginally usable by paras and strong quads, public transport throughout the city needs to be usable by power chair users. If all London cabs are truly accessible then NYC should provide the same as well as some education of cabbies regarding the need to actally stop and pick up wheelchair users when they hail a cab.
    I've been living in NYC for my entire adult paralyzed life, almost 30 years. Accessibility to public transportation has absolutely improved -- it couldn't get any worse. The bus system is 100% accessible and the newer, improved models have lifts that are far less likely to fail. The buses are more reliable than the bus operators, though, who are not always proficient with the lift equipment and the proper means of using the tie-down restraint systems.

    I use the subway to get to work every morning but I'm "fortunate" to live only 7 blocks from an accessible (meaning elevator-equipped) express stop station. (The local subway stop at the end of my block is not accessible and I will likely either be long dead or have moved to another city before ground is broken to install an elevator there.) My daily destination is to Penn Station, which has elevators. At this time, only major hub locations are being renovated with elevators. Elevator outages used to be extremely commonplace but have become less frequent recently; however, one must expect to run into this situation eventually. Frustrating.

    The taxi situation has gotten worse over time -- for me. As a strong para, I am able to transfer into the front seat in a sedan-style cab. Presently, NYC taxis are a hodgepodge of sedans, vans, and everything in between. I cannot transfer into the taller cabs, so the number of available rides has fallen over the years. Taxis are also TOO DAMN EXPENSIVE, so I avoid them as much as possible. Your assessment of Mayor Mike's intransigence and arrogance toward dedicating the city to making available a fully accessible taxi fleet a la London is on the money. It's pathetic, it's an embarassment, and it's discriminatory. A major blot on his character IMO.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    3,864
    it is embarrassing. if hong kong can have a fully accessible(and clean) subway system, then nyc can. taxis there arent accessible but damn cheap and no minds helping you, even random strangers will help you get things loaded.
    "Smells like death in a bucket of chicken!"
    http://www.elportavoz.com/

  7. #7
    I think if every single subway stop was accessible and the bus lifts worked well that it would be acceptable to have dial up, accessible taxis but it sounds like subway accessibility is very spotty, that really makes it criminal that the taxis will not be universally accessible. Being a billionaire I guess Bloomberg is used to getting exactly what he wants but this is just not acceptable.

    Back when we were in the city we lived at Vladeck Houses on Madison St - low income, city owned. We had a fold up, portable ramp we kept chained to a steel hand rail on the exterior step. We would fold it behind us and stow it in the bushes each time we used it. The Housing Authority refused to build a permanent ramp and warned us several times that our folding ramp was illegal. These were the bad old pre ADA days. Seems like Bloomberg's level of conciousness is still back there.

  8. #8
    I hear daily ads for this taxi service on CBS radio.

    http://www.accessibledispatch.com/

  9. #9
    I travel almost weekly, have no problems in DC, NYC or the outer burroughs. I however, can transfer into the backseat as long as they will stow my chair. Most will listen to my instructions and no damage occurs. However, I believe NYC needs to address this backwards step.....
    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts
    5,558
    Hopefully this will discourage major conventions from using NYC.

    When Sam Sullivan was mayor of Vancouver, he and opposing party city Councilman Tim Louis regularly declined invitations to Federation of Canadian Municipalities conventions located in cities with no wheelchair taxis. Eventually the FCM passed a motion promising to never hold their annual convention in a city with no wheelchair taxis.

Similar Threads

  1. Wheelchair taxis in philidelphia, pa
    By iburkhart13 in forum Recreation, Sports, Travel, & Hobbies
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 08-01-2012, 02:11 PM
  2. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 02-05-2011, 05:28 PM
  3. Wheelchair taxis in Philadelphia
    By Random in forum Life
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-13-2009, 10:09 AM
  4. Accessible Taxis in Vancouver?
    By Emi2 in forum Life
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-29-2004, 08:40 PM
  5. Wheelchair accessible hot tub
    By Mur in forum Care
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-15-2002, 07:09 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •