FAQ on Wheelchair-Accessible Taxis in New York City
We have reached out to members of the disability advocacy community and have compiled the most useful information for your transportation needs.
How do I book a wheelchair-accessible taxi in Manhattan?
There are five convenient ways to book a taxi:
- Call 311
- Call our dispatch center directly: (646) 599-9999
- Text a request to us: (646) 400-0789
- Use our mobile app WOW Taxi (Wheels on Wheels)
- Book online at www.accessibledispatch.com/book
Your company is in Connecticut, how will this dispatch service work in NYC?
Accessible Dispatch is operated by Metro Taxi in West Haven, CT. We are a full service, on-demand transportation company offering highly-rated reliable customer and dispatch services 24/7 every day of the year. Our advanced technology allows us to service companies anywhere in the country with the same quality we provide locally. Since each wheelchair-accessible taxi in NYC is equipped with a GPS unit, our dispatchers in Connecticut see the location of all accessible taxi on their monitors in real time.
Our dispatchers also use Google Streets to view the details of any street in New York City to best serve clients and drivers, further ensuring a smooth experience. Our direct NYC phone line means that customers pay no more to call us than they would if they were calling a local Manhattan number, and service is available via texting or our new WOW phone app.
What area does Accessible Dispatch service?
Passenger pickups will occur in Manhattan only for any destinations in the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester and Nassau counties, and Newark Airport served by NYC taxis.
Accessible trips returning to Manhattan from the other four boroughs will require an accessible livery vehicle. Wheelchair-accessible livery vehicles are available in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, but these trips are not handled by Accessible Dispatch.
How many wheelchair-accessible taxis are there in New York City?
As of June 2012 there are 233 such taxicabs. The City of New York hopes to increase the number of accessible taxicabs in the near future.
How many passengers can ride in the wheelchair-accessible taxi?
Four passengers and one passenger with a wheelchair.
How far in advance do I need to book my taxi?
There is no requirement to schedule your taxi ride in advance. Accessible Dispatch has installed GPS devices on all wheelchair-accessible cabs. Using this “closest cab” technology, we can find the vehicle nearest you for the quickest service. You may also schedule a reservation for taxi service for up to a year in advance.
What kind of vehicle can I expect?
It will be either a rear-entry, lowered-floor minivan or a side-entry MV-1.
May I specifically request the type of wheelchair-accessible taxi I would like?
Yes, but please know that selecting a specific type vehicle may increase our service response time.
In the past, taxicab drivers have been reluctant to drive across the city to pick up people who use wheelchairs or scooters for mobility disabilities because they lose money in transit. How is Accessible Dispatch different?
Two things make our approach different. First is our GPS vehicle location technology that allows us to see all of the wheelchair-accessible taxicabs closest to you. We’ll send the closest taxi, thereby minimizing the distance the driver must travel. Second, all drivers of wheelchair-accessible cabs are paid for their travel distance to an passenger’s pick up location.
So if a driver’s travel time is paid for on the way to pick me up, am I paying for that as well?
No. You pay the normal metered fare from the time your trip begins, just like any other passenger.
If my trip originates in Manhattan, can I still go to any other borough?
Yes. Drivers are required to take you to any destination mandated for New York City taxicabs. That means your destination can be anywhere in the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester and Nassau counties, and Newark Airport.
Will the driver get out of the vehicle to help me get into the vehicle?
Yes. Drivers of all accessible taxi cabs have been trained in boarding protocols and will assist the passenger.
Are drivers trained to interact with and assist those with mobility disabilities? If so, how?
Yes, all drivers are trained in their ADA-compliant responsibilities.
Drivers must complete a training program that includes wheelchair-accessibility training, including boarding and de-boarding protocols, First Person Language, disability awareness and etiquette. Driver training is conducted in-person and is augmented by CD, DVD and published materials.
Is my service animal allowed in the vehicle?
Yes. Service animals are permitted in any NYC taxi.
Where should I go to register feedback on Accessible Dispatch service?
You can call (646) 599-9999 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How many of the 233 wheelchair-accessible taxicabs will be used for customers who need accessible cab transportation?
All of them.
Given Manhattan’s dense population and traffic congestion, will boarding and de-boarding a wheelchair-accessible taxi be problematic in terms of limited curb-side availability?
The drivers of wheelchair-accessible taxis in Manhattan will have quick and easy access to a dispatcher. When needed, the dispatcher can help guide the driver and the customer to the best and most convenient pick-up location.
Note that other major metropolitan areas such as Miami, Chicago and Philadelphia — all known for large populations and rigorous traffic conditions — also operate wheelchair-accessible taxicabs with a high degree of customer-focus and efficiency.
How can I support this program and let all my friends know about this service?
Download this poster now and give it to your friends, and hang it up anywhere and everywhere.
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