October 13th, 2011|
To say that New York City resident Christopher Noel has a hard time hailing a cab is an understatement. Of 13,000 taxicabs in the Big Apple, only two percent — about 230 cabs — are accessible to Noel, who uses a wheelchair.
“How many of [wheelchair-ready cabs] are being used at the moment?” asked Noel in a report from NY1.com. “And when will I see the next one that’s coming by that’s fully accessible? If we had a fully accessible fleet, no one would have that problem.”
Noel is a plaintiff in a lawsuit that states that New York City is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Officials have previously contended that cabs are exempt from the act because a planned dispatch service will become available to disabled persons in March.
Today, the Department of Justice filed papers backing Noel’s lawsuit.
Disability activists are winning other advocates, too, including Chris Lynn, who is former chairman of the Taxi and Limousine Commission. Lynn believes that every cab needs to be available to those in wheelchairs.
“That’s my experience, being taxi commissioner,” said Lynn. “You do it all or nothing, or it’s not going to work, and it’s in the best interest of the city. It’s the honorable thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the economically feasible thing to do.”
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