All FHV bases licensed by the TLC are required to provide equivalent service to passengers using wheelchairs. In 2017 and 2018, the TLC passed rules to increase the availability of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) in the for-hire vehicle (FHV) industry, which includes community car services using livery vehicles, app-based and traditional black car services (e.g., Uber, Lyft), and luxury limousine services. Learn more by visiting FHV Accessibility Rules. All FHV bases must meet requests for WAV service, regardless of which rules option they choose to follow. Learn more about the service requirements below.
When will the new TLC rules go into place so I can request a wheelchair-accessible for-hire vehicle?
The new accessibility rules for for-hire vehicles take effect on January 14, 2019. See FHV Accessibility Rules.
How do I request a wheelchair-accessible vehicle from a car service?
You can request a wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV) the same way you would request a non-WAV trip with your chosen car service, which includes all livery, black car, and luxury limousine companies (i.e., by phone, app, or website). Car service companies are required to take WAV trip requests in the same ways they take all other trip requests.
Do I need to book my trip ahead of time?
It depends on the car service company. If the company offers on-demand service, they must offer on-demand service for WAV trips. However, if the company only dispatches trips arranged more than 24 hours in advance, they are only required to service WAV trips by the same standards.
How much will a wheelchair-accessible vehicle trip cost? Are there extra fees?
Each car service determines the cost of their own fares, and you should contact businesses to learn more about their rates. However, car services cannot charge more for a wheelchair-accessible trip than for a similar non-accessible trip. All car service owners must provide persons using wheelchairs with the same service as non-accessible trips with respect to response time, hours and days of service availability, and fares. If you believe you were overcharged or were offered inferior service as a wheelchair-accessible vehicle passenger report it to 311 so TLC can investigate.
Can I get a wheelchair-accessible vehicle trip via car service at the airport
Yes, you can request a trip in a wheelchair-accessible vehicle anywhere that you would request any other trip from your chosen car service. This may vary by airport and by terminal. Pick-ups will take place wherever for-hire vehicles are allowed to pick up passengers at the New York City airports. Contact your car service for more information on airport trips.
Are drivers trained to assist passengers who use wheelchairs?
Yes, all drivers must complete wheelchair passenger assistance training to receive or renew a TLC Driver License. The in-person training program is designed to teach drivers best practices, such as how to operate the ramp and securements in the vehicle and how to safely assist passengers. You should report any driver training or behavior issues to 311 immediately so TLC can investigate.
How is this different than the Accessible Dispatch program?
Visit Accessible Dispatch, a TLC-run program that is designed to use wheelchair-accessible yellow and green taxis to provide taxi service at the metered rate of fare to passengers that use wheelchairs. Passengers request trips through a single company and the dispatcher sends the closest yellow or green accessible taxi to pick the passenger up. In contrast, the new rule applies to car services that operate green taxis as well as liveries, black cars, and luxury limousines. The rule is designed to ensure the same level of service for passengers who use wheelchairs and wish to use a car service for their trip.
What if I have a problem with the accessible service that my car service offers?
Send all complaints about accessible service, including issues with vehicle safety and availability, and driver training and behavior, to 311. The TLC will investigate all accessible service complaints. You may also provide complaints to the car service company directly.
The WAV dispatched for my trip did not fit my power wheelchair or scooter. What should I do to ensure I get a trip in a WAV that fits?
When you request your trip, inform the car service of any needs associated with the trip, such as the size of your wheelchair or number of passengers in your party. Different wheelchair-accessible vehicles have different capacities, and the car service may have a number of options for passengers.
What happens if the car service I request a trip from doesn’t have any wheelchair accessible vehicles to dispatch?
Although you will need to call another company for that particular trip, you should report the lack of service to 311 as soon as possible so TLC can investigate. All car services are required to provide equivalent service and may not suggest that a passenger contact another car service company for accessible service.