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Friday, December 23, 2011

Agreement to Add Accessible Taxicabs in NYC | Dec 21, 2011

Press Releases
December 21, 2011 | AAPD Press Team

AAPD Applauds Agreement to Add Accessible Taxicabs in NYC

WASHINGTON, DC – December 21, 2011 – The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest cross-disability membership organization, praised an agreement that will add thousands of accessible taxicabs in New York City. Under the agreement, the city will issue new taxi medallions as well as permits that will allow livery cabs to pick up customers hailing them from the street.

All 2,000 new taxi medallions that the city may issue under the agreement must be for accessible taxis. The agreement also requires that at least 20% of the 6,000 street hail permits issued in the first year be for accessible cars. A portion of the sales of new taxi medallions will go toward subsidizing accessible livery vehicles.

“Taxis are a part of New York City life that must be accessible to everyone,” said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello. “The agreement is not only a win for New Yorkers and visitors with disabilities, but for the business people who benefit when every person is able to get out and participate in all New York has to offer in terms of commerce and entertainment. Transportation access means more people participating—which is good for everyone,” he added.

This agreement came after months of negotiating between lawmakers, disability rights advocates, and taxi and livery groups. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had threatened to veto any livery bill that did not include accessible cabs.

AAPD board member Jim Weisman, General Counsel of United Spinal Association and a representative of the Taxis for All Campaign, participated in a press conference announcing the agreement. “Tens of thousands of seniors and veterans and other New Yorkers with disabilities applaud the Senate and the Assembly and the governor for their extraordinary accomplishment," said Weisman.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo and the dedicated groups who made this agreement happen,” said Perriello. “We are proud that our long-time friend Jim Weisman played a key role in bringing about this victory for New York City,” he added.

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The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the country's largest cross-disability membership association, organizes the disability community to be a powerful force for change – politically, economically, and socially. AAPD was founded in 1995 to help unite the diverse community of people with disabilities, including their family, friends and supporters, and to be a national voice for change in implementing the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site: www.aapd.com.

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