Parking Authority to call out taxi medallion holders

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 Accessibility activists gather round as Philadelphia introduces new wheelchair accessible taxis. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Accessibility activists gather round as Philadelphia introduces new wheelchair accessible taxis. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

So far only one new wheelchair accessible taxi has hit the streets under a new plan to get more accessible vehicles in Philadelphia’s fleet of 1600 cabs. The head of the Parking Authority is calling for the public to put pressure on new medallion owners.

 

 50 medallions have been sold at a discount to operators promising to put wheelchair accessable cabs on the streets, but only one has put a vehicle into operation.  The Parking Authority regulates taxis in the city, and  Executive Director Vince Fenerty is asking the public to help.

“We’re going to make it known to the public who bought them so the public can call and lobby these companies to move a little faster as they had promised to do when they bought these medallions,” Fenerty said.

Matthew Clarke of the group Taxis for All Philadelphia has a more ambitious goal: forcing all medallion owners to convert to accessible cabs.

“There are 128,000 people with mobility disabilities in Philadelphia,” Clarke said. “That’s a lot of people waiting for a cab .”

The Parking Authority has called on the state to mandate the change for all cabs when they are replaced.

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