A member of the Taxi and Limousine Commission has reportedly proposed that all yellow cabs should be wheelchair accessible, which could stall the Bloomberg administration’s deal with Nissan to have the aging taxi fleet replaced with minivans that are not accessible. Commissioner Frank Carone tells the New York Daily News he has spoken to his nine fellow commissioners about mandating a gradual but total conversion to an accessible fleet.
A retrofit of Nissan’s NV200 minivan, which was previously touted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Hall as the “taxi of tomorrow,” would cost up to $15,000.
Currently, only 230 out of the more than 13,000 cabs on the street are wheelchair accessible.
The city plans to add 2,000 accessible cabs to the current fleet.
In a statement, TLC Commissioner David Yassky said adding more than the planned 2,000 additional accessible cabs would cost tens of millions of dollars each year, and the costs which would ultimately be passed on to passengers.