The Bloomberg administration continues to fight efforts to make all of its Taxis of Tomorrow accessible. But a funny thing just happened. Our perennial rival London just unveiled its own new version of their iconic black cabs. It just so happens to be designed by Nissan, and looks very much like our own. But as Capital New York deftly points out, theirs is different in one important one: The cabs are handicapped accessible. Read More
That is the argument being put forth by a new accessibility group, AXS, which is also working on a map app that will help disable New Yorkers find places—restaurants, bars, shops and the like—suited to their needs. The group has just produced this video putting the struggles of its founder into context with its dream of fleet of accessible cabs (among other things) while also suggesting that the mayor does not particularly care for the needs of the disabled. Read More
“Accessible taxi’s is happening, it’s happening in Washington D.C., it’s happening in Chicago, it’s happening Philadelphia and it’s happening because we’ve done it in New York,” said a contented James Weisman, his words accompanied by warm applause.
Mr. Weisman, senior counsel to the United Spinal Association, was speaking at a party for those involved in the Taxis For All campaign on Friday. The reason for the celebration was the Disability Rights Advocates landmark judicial victory against the city in December, when they successfully argued that any future New York taxicab that was not wheelchair accessible violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The same way we made the buses accessible and the whole country followed, the same thing is going to happen here with the taxis.” Mr. Weisman said, speaking in front of a yellow cake that had a model taxi with a ramp as decoration, the word ‘Congratulations’ was poured across in icing. “It’s going to be as profound a change as the buses, I’m sure,” he said, alluding to the ripple effect that occurred after the adoption of accessible buses in New York. Read More
Just when you think you’ve solved one problem, along comes some whizz with a computer to give you another.
Before the holidays, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo finally reached agreement on the long drawn saga of the new taxi bill. As part of the bill, 2,000 new yellow cab licenses for Manhattan will be sold, raising a ‘one shot’ billion dollar cash injection for the city’s coffers. In addition, each cab will also be wheelchair accessible.
So, what’s the catch? Well, traffic, that’s what. And it’s taken a month for someone to it point out. Read More
The signing of yesterday’s new taxi bill represented a huge boost to disability advocates and raises serious questions over the city’s recent cab policies on the whole. After Governor Cuomo threatened to veto the outerborough taxi bill, on grounds of discriminating against the disabled, a compromise was reached with the Mayor’s office and, now, a new fleet of accessible cabs will be taking the streets.
Whether all taxis will be accessible some day—perhaps Tomorrow—is still being worked out. While the mayor and governor were wrangling to get their vehicular way, The Observer has learned that Nissan considered making their new New York-only cabs handicap accessible, but the car maker felt the Bloomberg administration was indifferent to the plan and ultimately dropped it.
When the Nissan NV200 was chosen back in May, many were surprised the City didn’t go for the more popular Karsan design. It was more environmentally friendly as well as being the only entry that was strictly wheelchair friendly. “You just cannot generally take a wheelchair into the street and hail a cab,” Mayor Bloomberg said back in October, “It’s dangerous and a lot of the cab drivers would pretend they didn’t see you.” Read More
After six months of hard negotiations between Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and the Legislature, a deal was finally struck yesterday to bring more taxicabs to the outer boroughs and upper Manhattan.
The sale of the new medallion yellow cabs will inject a billion dollars into the city’s coffers. In addition, with 24,000 new cabs (eventually), it will now be possible to hail one in the outer boroughs. Sounds like a brilliant idea, so why were we stuck on the corner, trying to hail a deal for six months?
Well it seems those pesky ‘needs of the disabled’ cropped up… again. There was also the issue of disgruntled current taxi drivers, who now face competition with 18,000 “hailing” livery cabs. Read More
Books have been written and papers published that let us, the ignorant, general public know whether we are indeed alcoholics or not. Usually with the aid of those all important “top tell-tale signs”—putting aside the fact that the most obvious sign you’re an alcoholic, is whether you have read a ‘tell tale signs are that you’re an alcoholic’ list.
Alas, no book exists that gives a guide for measuring something as intangible as a physical city, however if one did, you can’t help but feel that one tell-tale sign would be the Department of Transportion giving away free taxi rides to stop it’s inhabitants from driving drunk. Read More