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