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Suit Against NYC Taxi Agency Results in Verdict for Disabled

A federal judge in New York City held that disabled residents are discriminated against under the Americans with Disabilities Act for failure to provide adequate taxis that provide reasonable accommodation to disabled residents.

“The TLC subjects disabled persons who must use wheelchairs and scooters to discrimination in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” the judge wrote in his opinion. “As a direct result of the TLC’s policies and regulations, those disabled persons are not provided meaningful access to the benefits of New York City taxicab service.”

A counterargument made by the defendant’s attorneys was that the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) wasn’t a proper defendant in the suit as they did not actually run a cab company or offer cabs in NYC. The judge disagreed, however, because they are the organization responsible for agency oversight of the taxi cab industry.

Based on the judge’s assessment and NYC numbers, less than two percent of cabs in the metro area have accommodations for disabled Americans, making it exceptionally challenging for a wheelchair bound person to use the taxi system in NYC. The federal judge’s ruling requires that any new medallions or licenses issued by TLC must be for wheelchair accessible vehicles until the TLC submits a plan to increase the availability of accessible taxis.

Source: Law “NYC Taxi Agency Discriminates Against Disabled, U.S. Judge Rules,” Joel Stashenko, 12/28/2012

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