Monday, October 24, 2011

New York Mayor Says Wheelchair Users Not Welcome

Mayor Bloomberg says new handicapped-accessible taxis wouldn't just be inconvenient for able-bodied riders - they'd be downright hazardous to their health.

Bloomberg said the modified suspensions and larger interior spaces of disabled-friendly cabs would cause injuries and spur lawsuits against taxi owners.

"The suspension is a lot worse, and it's harder to get up and pay the cab driver and get in and out and that sort of thing," Hizzoner said during his weekly radio show on WOR.

"I think you're going to see [lawsuits] about people getting up, trying to get to the front, across the divide. You know, there's so much more space between the backseat and the divider, you're going to have people getting hurt," he said.

Bloomberg drew the ire of disability advocates Wednesday when he complained that accessible cabs would be uncomfortable and inconvenient for able-bodied riders.

He was pushing back against efforts by the U.S. attorney's office and other advocates to make cabs more accessible.

Champions for the handicapped ripped Bloomberg's remarks yesterday.

Assemblyman Micah Kellner, a Manhattan Democrat who was born with cerebral palsy, called them "preposterous."

"He seems to be floundering here, literally making things up as he goes along," Kellner said.

"Clearly, the mayor is living in his own world," Kellner added. "The Americans with Disabilities Act is very clear: Everybody gets service, and this is public transportation."

Gov. Cuomo has warned that the push by the feds to expand handicapped cab access could doom Bloomberg's livery cab bill, which would authorize 30,000 livery cars in upper Manhattan and in the other boroughs to pick up street hails.


1 comment:

  1. Albany should step in and give the NYC TLC two, and only two, options.

    1) Certify only accessible vehicles as taxis.


    2) Allow medallion holders to use any and all vehicles that pass NY State Inspection, regardless of make, model, size and other form factors, age and new/used status.