NYC Launches On-Demand Taxi Service

Victor Calise tests out one of the city’s wheelchair-accessible taxis.

Victor Calise tests out one of the city’s wheelchair-accessible taxis.
Photo Courtesy of Accessible Dispatch

The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission unveiled its on-demand service for accessible taxis on September 14. Those wanting an accessible taxi in Manhattan for trips anywhere in the five boroughs can dial 311 to request one. TLC Commissioner David Yassky says the wait for a taxi is only 20-30 minutes because GPS locaters in each taxi allow for more efficient dispatch.

Yassky hopes to issue 2,000 accessible taxi licenses soon. “That’s probably going to take two, three years to get all those issued,” Yassky says. He added that next year, new taxis will feature a deployable step and a hearing loop allowing those with hearing impairments to communicate with the driver.

Edith Prentiss, an organizer with the Taxis for All Campaign, says a benefit of the new service is the ability to more easily track information about accessible taxi rides. While this is an improvement, Prentiss says waiting 20-30 minutes for a taxi isn’t equitable. “If everyone else can go out and put their arm in the air — why do I have to call?” Prentiss asks.

 

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