a yellow accessible taxi cab has the side door open and a ramp is extending to the sidewalk

What’s Wrong Wednesday: Uber, Lyft And Via Sue To Block Wheelchair-Accessibility

The city’s three biggest ride-hail companies in New Your City have banded together to undo the recently passed Taxi and Limousine Commission mandate requiring them to make wheelchair accessible service a growing part of their operations.  Eight operators and trade groups have sent the agency a letter outlining their “united opposition” to proposed requirements for wheelchair-accessible service.

Uber, Lyft, and Via filed a petition in state Supreme Court in Manhattan on Friday asking that the TLC mandate be vacated and annulled. The rules are set to go into effect in July, and will require that within 12 months 5% of all trips dispatched by the operators be in wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Earlier this week, disability advocates including United Spinal Association and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest filed an amicus brief in federal court in Manhattan in opposition to the motion for a preliminary injunction. The advocates’ brief defends the TLC against the FHV (for-hire vehicle) operators but argues that the city’s plan does not go far enough to provide equivalent service for people with disabilities in accordance with anti-discrimination statutes.

“We’re grateful the city is trying to push for accessibility, but it’s not enough,” said Ruth Lowenkron, director of the disability justice program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. “We think they have their own obligation under the non-discrimination laws to ensure access under non-discrimination laws. And the FHVs (for-hire vehicle industry) absolutely have a requirement to make their vehicles accessible.”

Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in July 26, 1990 in order to create a level playing field for all, by giving people with disabilities protection from discrimination in employment, transportation, public accommodations, and telecommunications.  The for-hire vehicle industry is now saying that 28 years is not enough time to make their industry accessible for everyone.  It’s time to say, 28 years is enough! Times up!

Uber, Lyft and Via sue to block wheelchair-accessibility mandate: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20180413/NEWS/180419917/uber-lyft-and-via-sue-to-block-wheelchair-accessibility-mandate

[image description:  a yellow accessible taxi cab has the side door open and a ramp is extending to the sidewalk.]

a yellow accessible taxi cab has the side door open and a ramp is extending to the sidewalk