TLC brings wheelchair accessibility to outer boroughs

Posted: Updated:

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission expanded its accessible dispatch service to all five boroughs Wednesday, a move benefiting those in need of wheelchair-accessible transportation.

Getting a wheelchair-accessible taxi in New York City can be complicated, especially for those living in the outer boroughs. Valerie Joseph, of Queens, tells News 12 that she has spent up to three hours waiting for an accessible cab.

Joseph describes having issues even after the taxi has arrived, recounting non-accessible taxis showing up to her home even after she specifically requested wheelchair accessibility.

The accessible dispatch program will now accommodate pickups in all five boroughs, not just in Manhattan.

The program tested for the past three months with technology by Medical Transportation Management.

The Accessible Dispatch Program launched in 2012 to connect New Yorkers and visitors who use wheelchairs and other mobility aids to accessible taxis.

While 18 percent of yellow and green taxis are wheelchair-accessible, the TLC is aiming to see the number of wheelchair-accessible taxis grow to 50 percent by 2020. 

Passengers can call the dispatch center, use the mobile app or go online to arrange for the services, and there will no longer be a need to book far in advance.

The TLC also says that drivers who participate in the program will be offered a cash incentive.

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