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Appeals Court: NYC Taxis Must Follow Accessibility Rules
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 28, 2004

NEW YORK, NEW YORK--An appeals court on Wednesday ruled that New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission has the authority to require livery cab companies to provide wheelchair-accessible taxis on demand.

According to a brief item by NY1, Time Warner's 24-hour news channel in New York City, livery cab owners and drivers had argued that the commission's rules violated their right to equal protection, and that private property cannot be taken for public use without providing reasonable compensation.

Disability rights advocates have been pressuring the city to provide more cabs. The Associated Press reported in April that the city had only five accessible yellow cabs, out of a fleet of 12,187, and three accessible livery cabs, out of about 40,000.

Earlier this month, the city set aside 27 new medallions (registrations) specifically for accessible mini-van cabs.

"It's a very big issue," said Rafaela Puerto, a member of the Taxis For All Campaign, who staged an April "roll-in" at the taxi stand in front of Pennsylvania Station.

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.

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