Disability groups/Straphangers: Cap bill won’t strand New Yorkers — that’s what Uber does

Taxis for All Campaign: Members include Bronx Independent Living Services • Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled • Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York • Disabled In Action of Metropolitan New York • Disabilities Network of New York City • Harlem Independent Living Center • United Spinal Association • VetsFirst • 504 Democratic Club
Other organizations: Mobilization for Justice • New York Lawyers for the Public Interest • NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign
Cap won’t strand New Yorkers – that’s what Uber does
Statement of support for FHV cap bill, July 31, 2018
Our groups support Intro. 144-A (Council Member Levin), which would permit the issuance of additional for-hire-vehicle licenses ONLY if they are for wheelchair-accessible vehicles.  
Uber’s opposition is disingenuous: The company says a cap would “strand” New Yorkers – even though it strands New Yorkers with disabilities every day by offering next to no wheelchair-accessible service.
To bypass the cap, all Uber would have to do is make sure it puts wheelchair-accessible vehicles on the road. What’s their problem?
Uber, Lyft and other companies have discriminated against people with disabilities who need wheelchair-accessible vehicles at every turn. They’ve bullied elected officials, spent millions on lobbyists and ads, and sued the City over modest accessibility rules. They’ve done everything but actually get people who use wheelchairs where they want to go. In fact, a recent study found that Uber and Lyft fail to provide advertised wheelchair-accessible service 70% of the time they’re requested.
Maybe it’s time these companies drop the bogus arguments and the old-fashioned discrimination and start serving all New Yorkers.
Our groups also support Intro. 634-A (Diaz), which would exempt wheelchair-accessible FHV operators from license fees. This is a fair and smart approach toward increasing the use of accessible vehicles. 
We appreciate the leadership from City Council Speaker Johnson, FHV Chair Diaz, Council Member Levin and their staffs on the accessibility issue. We urge them to continue to work and to take up bills that would require a high percentage of wheelchair-accessible rides or vehicles, similar to a bill Speaker Johnson introduced in 2014. More accessibility is increasingly important, as MTA New York City Transit looks to expand its on-demand Access-A-Ride program. 
For more information, contact Joe Rappaport, BCID, 646-284-1078.
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