When people envision New York, what often comes to mind is the busy streets and the sea of yellow taxis; however, out of the approximately 13,000 cabs in NYC, only 233 are wheelchair accessible. So, in a city where, by law, you must hail a taxi on the street, how is someone who is disabled supposed to get one?
In order to help with the problem, a new system created by Metro Taxi has launched. Called Accessible Dispatch, the company uses a GPS system to tracks each of the 233 wheelchair-accessible taxis. These can be ordered by:
- Calling 311
- Calling the dispatch center directly: (646) 599-9999
- Texting a request to: (646) 400-0789
- Using the mobile app “Wheels on Wheels” (WOW Taxi)
- Ordering online at www.nycaccessibledispatch.org
No advance reservation is required, and the taxis will be able to take any passengers from Manhattan to any of the five boroughs, Westchester and Nassau counties and the three regional airports. There are no extra fees, as passengers pay the metered rate starting from when they get in to the vehicle to when they get dropped off. Additionally, all drivers who operate these taxis have been specially trained in wheelchair assistance, boarding and de-boarding conduct, as well as disability awareness and passenger sensitivity.
“This is an entirely new kind of service,” said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky, “and it is a real and tangible reflection of our dedication to making quality taxicab service available to all those who want it.”
[Image via Accessible Dispatch]