News

New Legislation Requires Better Access To Taxis For Visually Impaired

New York City Taxis (file / credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

New York City Taxis (file / credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday signed legislation that will improve access to taxis for the visually impaired.

The ordinance will take effect next May.

It requires that taxi payment technology include an auditory component, so that visually impaired passengers will hear their fare from a machine, rather than simply taking the driver’s word for it.

The equipment will also tell passengers how to pay with a credit card if they wish to do so.

The installation of the equipment began earlier this year.

Former Gov. David Paterson, who is legally blind, was present for the announcement back last April in front of City Hall.

“One way it will change my life, it will be the first time that I’ve ever used a credit card in a taxi,” Paterson told reporters on April 18.

He said he has often suspected that cabbies asked him for a higher fare than was on the meter, but he had no way to prove it.

The company that created the software also announced plans to install it in taxis in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and other cities.

What do you think of the new technology? Please share your comments below.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)