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Wheelchair Friendly Taxi Rolled Out In Manhattan Today

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The MV-1 handicapped accesible taxi is seen at the Flatiron North Pedestrian Plaza - New York, NY - Jan 10, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

The MV-1 handicapped accesible taxi is seen at the Flatiron North Pedestrian Plaza – New York, NY – Jan 10, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Large enough for two wheelchairs and several passengers, the MV-1 got a big thumbs up from Ronnie Ramond with the Taxis For All Campaign.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond On The Story

“You can imagine three six-foot-five basketball players sitting in the backseat and being comfortable,” she said. “To me, it feels like a little tank. I mean it feels that sturdy and that, you know, smooth.”

The taxi vehicle was put on display and given the test by several wheelchair users near Madison Square Park on Tuesday.

The SUV has already been approved by the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

Commissioner David Yassky says it’s designed specifically for the handicapped.

“The cars that are on the road now, they’re retrofitted, means they’re sliced down the middle and that means they don’t perform very well. They need a lot of maintenance,” he said.

After decades of being left at the curb, Raymond is hopeful.

“It’s a real vehicle that’s coming out of the factories and can be bought and can be on the streets,” Raymond said.

The city has been ordered by a judge to improve access for the disabled and has agreed that 2,000 new yellow cab medallions will be sold only for wheelchair accessible cabs.

The manufacturer, Vehicle Production Group, hopes to have several thousand of these on the street by year’s end.

What do you think of the MV-1? Sound off in the comments section below!

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