Statistics Show We Need More Wheelchair-Accessible Cabs

Statistics Show We Need More Wheelchair-Accessible Cabs

Going to New York City? Chances are you’ll use a taxi. Going to Washington, D.C.? What about Chicago? Las Vegas? The chances are very high that you’ll, at some point, hail a taxi cab and need a lift. But as I sit here and think about it, I have never seen an accessible taxi in any of the large cities I have visited. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t needed one personally, but I guarantee the ratio of disabled passengers to accessible taxis is off.

Traveling should be a privelage to everyone, not a select few. In 2012, NYC implemented an accessible taxi system that allows disabled passengers to hail wheelchair-accessible cabs via app, phone, or text message, and it’s given more than 70,000 trips since it’s start. That’s great news for New York City, kind of. Upwards of a million New Yorkers have disabilities, and there are only about 2,000 accessible cabs. What about the other major cities in America? Where do they stand?

Turns out, not so well. Washington, D.C. has 130,000 residents with a disability, and the city has 6,500 taxis, 20 of which are wheelchair-accessible. Not the best statistic. But now, a new program may change that.

Let’s go back to New York City, and talk about the famous Uber app that’s dominating the cab services. Uber is very much a taxi service, and out of their thousands of drivers (who drive their own vehicles), they do not have any accessible vehicles in their fleet, and disabled passengers are angry. And rightfully so. The options are limited for disabled passengers, and Uber¬†could fix this problem with a system that includes all passengers.

All in all, every passenger has the right to choose the taxi service of their choice, but because of the limited number of accessible services available, some people are forced to choose less-convenient options.

This guest post is by Rebecca from Global Lift Corp, an ADA compliant pool lift manufacturer, offering accessible pool lifts for aquatic access. Visit their website for more information on ADA pool products.