Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Hailing a Cab (maybe)
Although we've never made the trip, my family would love to visit New York City. We've never been in a city that large or in my opinion, that exciting, and a visit one day is very appealing to us. But I may now have to rethink that...
You see, New York City's Mayor Bloomberg, thinks accessible taxis are a waste of time and money. And of course, one cannot visit NYC without at some point having to take a cab. Here are a few of Mayor Bloomberg's comments about accessible cabs:
"Their suspension is much worse, so the average person riding in them finds them really uncomfortable,"
"If you're in a wheelchair, it's really hard to go out in the street and hail down a cab and get the cab to pull over and get into [it],"
Mayor Bloomberg also said that accessible cabs would inconvenience able-bodied passengers, and noted that hacks don't like them because they are so spacious that the drivers can't establish rapport with riders - and get smaller tips as a result.
The sad fact is that only 231 of the city's 13,000 taxis are accessible to people with wheelchairs. And since my family has two wheelchair users, I'm guessing a trip to NYC is not in our future...
According to the New York Daily News:
Champions of the handicapped immediately ripped Bloomberg's "insulting" riff.
"The mayor's completely out of touch," said Assemblyman Micah Kellner, a Manhattan Democrat who was born with cerebral palsy. "When was the last time Mayor Bloomberg used a New York City taxi or a wheelchair?"
Added Edith Prentiss of the Taxis For All Campaign: "It's a sad day for New York City when a mayor works so hard to deny people like me the right to take a taxi. It's wrong, it's indefensible,and it won't stand."
So where do you stand on this issue? Do you think New York City needs more accessible cabs, or do you think the Mayor is correct - it's not a realistic solution? Keep in mind as you answer that question that the decisions made in New York City have the potential to drive decisons for smaller cities - maybe even yours.
(image courtesy of David Handschuh, New York Daily News)