Does Lack Of Wheelchair Access In NYC Taxis Violate Americans With Disabilities Act?

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. attorney in Manhattan is investigating whether the lack of New York City taxis with wheelchair access violates a section of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The New York Times reports that the investigation was revealed on Monday in letters mailed to city lawyers and owners of taxi medallions. The paper says it could result in the government bringing a civil case against the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

The city doesn’t require taxi owners to provide wheelchair access. But it has said it does issue medallions for wheelchair-accessible taxis and that taxi officials plan a program whereby the disabled could arrange cab rides by telephone.

The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment on Monday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Brittany Correa This is my petition asking state and local officials to mandate wheelchair accessible taxis throughout new york state. please take a look at it. thank you.

  • Razvi Khan

    Peolpe in wheelchair should find other means to get around. Don’t require taxis to accomodate these people.

    • RichieT

      The law doesn’t work that way. Legally, they have to have the same access to any location as a person NOT in a wheelchair. They can’t be discriminated for ANY reason

  • al

    can somebody tell me why cab driver has to pay for you’r ride.dont tell me we are pay the meter, because cab has to go to SI empty from manhattan(toll=$13+gas$8)after drop off in Brooklyn emty back to NYC(toll$4.80+gas$4.39 a gallon) on car which cost $15000.00 more than crown victoria.

  • MomTo5GrandmaTo6

    What’s pathetic to me is the lack of compassion/knowledge/common sense most posters possess. Two responses:

    1) For the religious……there but for the grace of God go I
    2) For the non-religious……walk a mile in my shoes (or wheels)

    Bet if you were stuck in a chair 24/7 you would change your tune very quickly. What I (and i’m sure everyone else like myself) wouldn’t give to be able to walk into a bus, down the stairs to the subway, or climb into a cab without any assistance whatsoever. Or let’s take “Nick” and all those of his ilk and tie them to bumpers and drag them around……at 90 mph! I guess they also think all handicapped people are helpless, stupid, morons that can’t do anything for themselves. Got news for you idiots….I raised my children on my own (my choice – got tired of being my alcoholic, abuser husband’s punching bag), worked 2 and 3 jobs to support them, and didn’t ask for help from anyone. Handicapped does NOT mean helpless. The only helpless, stupid, morons are those like Nick and his like-thinking idiots.

  • Dank

    Hows this for “reasonable”? LAST SUMMER I called for a wheelchair taxi to pick me up in Staten Island and bring me home to Brooklyn, a fare that ANY NYC cabbie would take faster than you can say “Cut me off in traffic” I was told that the backlog for wheelchair cabs was DAYS long and that I would be contacted as soon as a cab was available. nearly a year later I am still waiting for that call…

    So to the guy who claims there aren’t that many wheelchair users looking for cabs, check your facts, as for what’s reasonable, when its your butt in the chair, or your loved one, I’m sure you will find a new definition for what reasonable accommodation is….

  • Marina Ios

    if i may add something
    i do not use a wheelchair, but i do use a can, without it i cannot go outside , i suffer from seriously debilitating dizziness and imbalance
    well, let me tell you, there are lots of subway stations recently with those big gaps between platform and car
    for people without any mental conditions, those gaps are inexistent- the same they used to be for me before i got ill-
    cannot , really i have tried, to find an explanation to those gaps, the only reasonable one which came in my mind was that the new cars are too narrow or smth
    my point here is:
    if we live in this city, where we must move around using public transportation , we better not get sick
    sad , but true

  • emjayay

    NYC picked a new Nissan taxi design which does not provide access. The design from the Turkish company that they rejected did provide access. As long as NYC is mandating an all new dedicated taxi design it should provide access for all these new cabs. The Nissan design should be modified to provide access. It would also be better if it didn’t look outdated already!

  • Mike Vidovich

    isn’t it supposed to be ‘reasonable accomodation’ ? outfitting taxis in NY to meet handicapped criteria costing 10’s of millions of $$$ isn’t reasonable to me. reasonable would be having handicapped accessable taxis ready, dispatchers available, etc… to me that’s ‘reasonable’, especially considering the low # of handicapped compared to non-handicapped? common sense. …

    but then .. welcome to America! sue sue sue!

  • Nick

    Couldn’t they just tie their wheelchairs to the rear bumper? Maybe at a reduced fare as they’re not riding inside?

  • EN

    The ADA is law. Every business has to abide by it.

    • James

      Granted, the ADA does say that business need to abide by the law. But does it include a clause for a “Mobile” business. Like Taxi’s? I do not know, just a curious thought.

      Saying, “yes it does” is not a valid answer. A valid answer will refer to a specific part of the law mandating such accessibility for a mobile business. (Taxi’s)

  • RichieT

    When they’re doing major work on subway station, they should put in more wheel chair access. Underground station are major issues. That’s almost impossible in must stations. Are they putting them in as they finally build the 2nd Ave run?. If they’re not, they’ll probably have serious legal problems. The above ground stations,, would be allot easier to do. Stations where one entrance isn’t used anymore., it’d be pretty easy. The sidewalks are already blocked off, and there are already openings in the platforms the elevators could use. Take the stairs out, and install elevators.,

    • emjayay

      Being new construction, the new subway line will no doubt (well, almost no doubt) be accessible. The new taxis should all be accessible. Elevators are really expensive to install and maintain, and the NYC subway system needs zillions of dollars of renovations which were put off for a century. Buses are all accesssible (if awkwardly on the old higher floor models) and that is an alternative for handicapped people in many cases.

  • Ellen

    Considering we are now a country of aging baby boomers, me among them. Then yes these cabe companies have to get with the times, and offer wheelchair accommodations. Not only cabe companies but housing, as well.

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