FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2003
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION LAUNCHING TLC BASE STATION FOR LIVERY CABS THAT CAN ACCOMMODATE WHEELCHAIRS AND MOTORIZED SCOOTERS
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Law
“The bill before us today is Introductory Number 555, by Council Members Liu, Comrie, Gennaro, Koppell, Martinez, Sanders, Steward, Weprin, Sears, and Gerson. This is a truly historic piece of legislation. It will establish the first for-hire vehicle service in the city that will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accommodate the approximately 60,000 New Yorkers who use wheelchairs and motorized scooters.
“Specifically, this legislation will launch a new for-hire vehicle base station, licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission. It will be called A Ride For All. While it will be located in Long Island City, it will operate in all five boroughs. It will provide, by contract, wheelchair-accessible service upon request to other TLC-licensed livery bases for their wheelchair-using patrons. I’m pleased to welcome to City Hall some of the thousands of New Yorkers who will benefit from this service. One of them is Ed Jupp. Ed is a professional actor; he has appeared on NYPD Blue, and in other television shows and films.
“Like all actors in New York, he depends on quick and reliable transportation to get to casting calls and rehearsals. “A Ride For All” will give him that. It will, we hope, help him land roles that match his talents—just as we’re confident that it will make it easier for other New Yorkers to pursue their careers, attend to their personal affairs, and get about our city.
“Two weeks from today, “A Ride For All” will be fully operational. The company will have both english- and spanish-speaking dispatchers. It now owns three retrofitted wheelchair-accessible mini-vans, two of which are parked here today, and which I invite our guests and the press to join me in inspecting after this ceremony.
“The company also has a vendor that is prepared to supply it with as many additional such vehicles as demand dictates. By making comfortable, wheelchair-accessible, for-hire vehicles routinely available on demand, the establishment of “A Ride For All” represents an important step forward in creating transportation equity for disabled New Yorkers.
“Our administration is also taking important other steps to improve transportation for the disabled community. We have, for example, established an advisory board that works with the MTA to improve access-a-ride service. Its recommendations have resulted in improved scheduling, enhanced customer service phone systems, and better driver training.”
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958