Does anyone at the Taxi and Limousine Commission know how to navigate in New York?
The agency, chaired by David Yassky, is forging ahead with yet another service plan that is all but certainly doomed to failure – and that just as certainly will drive Mayor Bloomberg’s vaunted Taxi of Tomorrow plan into a ditch.
Of late, Yassky has occupied his time throwing the gears into forward and then reverse and then stalling on the concept of legalizing livery car street hails in the boroughs.
Today, he will shift to accepting bids from firms interested in running a convoluted system for dispatching by radio the city’s 231 yellow cabs that can accommodate wheelchairs.
This is a roundabout way for the TLC to claim it is complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act by providing equivalent service to people in wheelchairs. That mandate will come strongly into play if the city’s taxis are classified as vans.
Few meet that designation now, but all 13,237 vehicles that will bear medallions when the Taxi of Tomorrow arrives will be Nissan NV200s – minivans. The law seems to indicate that all would have to be wheelchair-accessible. They are not.
Hauled into federal court, city lawyers argued that the TLC is now – or will be, through the proposed dispatch system – giving wheelchair passengers equivalent service. But Judge George Daniels upheld a lawsuit against the TLC, stating:
“If a person in a wheelchair, if they’re on a corner and they want a cab, they shouldn’t have to say, ‘Well, I’m going to see 1,000 cabs and only one of the 1,000 – if I’m lucky – is going to be able to take me where I want to go.'”
Bloomberg should say bye-bye to the Taxi of Tomorrow and get a firm grip on the TLC wheel.