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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission Votes to Enact 30 Cent Accessibility Surcharge to expand accessible taxi fleet

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AAPD Press


For Immediate Release
April 30, 2014

Washington, DC (April 30, 2014) – Today, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) voted to enact a 30 cent surcharge in a plan to make 50 percent of all New York City cabs wheelchair accessible by the year 2020. The surcharge will apply to all taxicab rides beginning in the year 2015 in order to fund the purchase and conversion of accessible cabs.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest disability rights organization, lauded the move as an important step in the right direction, and looks forward to the day when 100 percent of taxis are accessible to New York City’s residents and tourists. AAPD looks forward to working with the Mayor’s office and TLC to ensure that the 30 cent surcharge is used solely to fund the conversion and purchase of accessible vehicles.
Leading up to the hearing, AAPD and United Spinal Association participated in meetings with the New York City Council and Mayor’s Office to promote 100 percent accessibility and 100 percent clean energy vehicles.
“The New York City TLC initiative is an important step and we hope that other cities will follow suit with a goal of 100 percent accessibility,” said James Weisman, board member of AAPD and Senior Vice President and General Counsel of the United Spinal Association.
The plan to make 50 percent of New York City taxis accessible by the year 2020 sprung from a class-action lawsuit filed by disability advocates, which charged New York City with violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Only 230 of the city’s more than 13,000 cabs are wheelchair accessible. Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed the 30 cent surcharge to address the costs of transitioning to accessible cabs. The plan intends to raise funds in the year 2015 and begin purchasing and converting accessible cabs in the year 2016.
New York City is not the only city to address the need for accessible transportation. In 2013, Chicago increased the number of wheelchair accessible cabs by 90 percent with MV-1 wheelchair accessible vehicles which are also environmentally friendly. Other major cities that have accessible taxi services include Boston, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas, and Portland.
About AAPD
The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation's largest disability rights organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site: www.aapd.com

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