Taxis For All Campaign
For wheelchair-accessible taxis and liveries in New York City, based upon universal design principles
WE SUPPORT: Intro. 378
The Accessible and Green Taxi Transition Law
If you're a New Yorker, or just visiting, you learn three things very quickly about the existing fleet of yellow taxis:
almost every one is inaccessible to people who use wheelchairs (just 27 of 12,787 are currently accessible);
many are wildly uncomfortable for all riders and all drivers; and
most pump out air pollution – especially as they idle in traffic -- and contribute to the City's high incidence of asthma and other pollution-caused diseases.
The City has complete control over the regulation of the yellow taxi industry. The Accessible and Green Taxi Transition Law provides a road map by which the City can solve these problems realistically and effectively.
Making this transition will bring down a major barrier faced by people with disabilities trying to get around the City each day. Moreover, the bill will bring health and economic benefits to the City. It will increase the number of green cabs on the road, and, by making New York a city that is more friendly to the transportation needs of people with disabilities, it will boost the City's tourism and convention industries. Last but not least, it will bring a more convenient and comfortable experience to all of the riding public.
Introduced by Council Member Koppell, on behalf of the Taxis For All Campaign, this bill provides for the transition to an accessible, green, comfortable taxi fleet in three stages over a period of several years:
Stage 1: Starting in 2009, owners of multiple cabs would be limited to accessible or green vehicles when they place new taxis into service. Up to two of three would need to be accessible.
Stage 2: Starting in 2011, owners of one cab would begin the transition.
Stage 3: Starting in 2013, the industry would move to a fleet that is entirely accessible and entirely green.
Other cities throughout the country and throughout the world are way ahead of New York in deploying existing technology to achieve these goals. New York should be a leader, not a backwater.
WE OPPOSE: Intro. 356,
Our groups oppose Intro. 356: it would create a separate and unequal system in which only wheelchair users would have to phone in for a cab -- a vehicle that may never show up due to getting stuck in traffic or picking up a street hail. It’s a routine many of us know far too well from New York’s troubled Access-A-Ride system. And no one can fairly describe this proposal as being a
"stop-gap" because, without a phased-in transition to accessible and green vehicles, the
"gap" goes on forever.
Council Member Sponsors:
Maria del Carmen Arroyo
James Sanders Jr.
Thomas White Jr.
Members of the Campaign:
Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro New York
Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York (CIDNY)
Disabilities Network of New York City (DNNYC)
Disabled in Action of Metropolitan New York (DIA)
504 Democratic Club
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI)
NYC chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
United Spinal Association (USA)