Traveling in the Big Apple can be difficult if you are a person in a wheelchair. However, more taxis in the state are developing wheelchair access to accommodate people in wheelchairs.
This advancement was not quick or easy. The call to action began in 2011, when the group Taxis for All filed a lawsuit because they saw that there was a small amount of taxi cabs with wheelchair access. In December of that year, Mayor William de Blasio signed a law that included creating over 2,000 taxis that are wheelchair accessible. The group then became angered when Mayor de Blasio cancelled a court date for the end of January of 2014 to discuss the plan to make fifty percent of taxis wheelchair accessible by the year 2020. The mayor was given another month to mull over the plan.
The Bloomberg legislation settled the lawsuit and Judge George Daniels made a schedule near the end of February to create rules for modes of transportation for people in wheelchairs. Unfortunatly, this plan hit a snag in March when de Blasio announced that there will be an additional 30 cent charge for yellow and green taxis to help taxi owners as well as drivers upgrade their taxi cabs. The surcharge was denied by Judge Daniels in May. New York City is planning to begin the surcharge the following year to help pay for the updated taxi cabs.
Aside from the plan for wheelchair accessible taxis, there are also five ways for anyone to get a taxi with wheelchair access. The first way is by calling 311, the non-emergency phone number for New York City, to get their ride. They can also call their dispatch number to schedule their transportation directly or text the dispatch with their request. People can go online to set up a ride or use the mobile application, Wheels on Wheels or WOW Taxi.
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