Advocates Stage "Roll-In" At Penn Station
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 22, 2004
NEW YORK, NEW YORK--A group of wheelchair users staged a "roll-in" demonstration Thursday at the taxi stand in front of Pennsylvania Station to draw attention to the fact that they could not get into any of the cabs there.
The advocates, who call themselves the Taxis For All Campaign, want the city to provide more wheelchair-accessible taxi cabs. They are supporting a City Council measure that would require new accessible taxis to replace old cabs when they wear out.
According to an Associated Press story, the city has only five accessible yellow cabs, out of a fleet of 12,187, and three accessible livery cabs, out of about 40,000.
"It's a very big issue," said Rafaela Puerto, who was one of the demonstrators.
"It's time that the Council passed this inclusive measure," said Alexander Wood, director of the Disabilities Network of New York City.
While sedans cannot be made accessible, minivans can be built with wheelchair ramps, or can be retrofitted to include them. The advocates said accessible taxis cost about $2,000 more than regular ones.