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Taxis For All Campaign News Blog

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Taxis For All Campaign
For wheelchair-accessible taxis and liveries in New York City, based upon universal design principles

For Immediate Release: October 5, 2011
Contact: Joseph G. Rappaport, 646-284-1078

New ad opposing mayor’s taxi plan
to hit New York City and Albany TV stations today

Taxis For All Campaign ad to run on cable TV over the next week

New Yorkers who are disabled tell Mayor Bloomberg: Your livery street-hail plan “leaves wheelchair users stranded”

A new 30-second TV ad taking aim at Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to create 30,000 street hail permits without adding one new wheelchair-accessible vehicle is set to run on New York City and Albany TV stations starting today.

The Taxis For All Campaign is running the ad as part of its drive to convince city and state leaders that a street-hail system must be fully accessible to wheelchair users. Taxis For All is a coalition of New York City’s leading disability groups and some individuals.

“New Yorkers who are disabled are treated like second-class citizens under Mayor Bloomberg’s street-hail proposal,” said Edith Prentiss, chair of the Taxis For All Campaign. “It’s just plain wrong to triple the number of cars that can pick up passengers on the street, while leaving New Yorkers who use wheelchairs stranded.”

The 30-second commercial features New Yorkers in wheelchairs and dramatically illustrates how they wouldn’t be able to hail taxis if state legislation pushed by City Hall earlier this year is signed. (See link and script, below.)

It will be broadcast over the next week on CNN, MSNBC, NY1, and YNN, in New York City and Albany.

The Taxis for All Campaign, formed in 1996, has been a strong supporter of a fully accessible taxi and livery fleet and has protested legislation to increase street hails outside of the Manhattan business district without providing full accessibility. In July, the organization wrote Governor Cuomo asking that he block the legislation, noting that the bill “would continue to shut wheelchair users out of using New York City's vast taxi system." (See letter in previous post on this site.)

The ad focuses on Mayor Bloomberg because the city has thus far opposed requiring wheelchair-accessible taxis as a part of its street-hail plan.

“The mayor’s plan aims to increase taxis for ‘underserved’ neighborhoods, but meanwhile the people who are really not served – wheelchair users – are left at the curb,” said Terry Moakley, chair of VetsFirst. His group is a project of the United Spinal Association in Queens, the ad’s sponsor.

Wheelchair-accessible taxis, which use a simple ramp, are widely available; London’s system is fully accessible.

The ad may be viewed at:


Script for “Not Even One More Car”

Sound: Bustling, energetic sounding street noise.

Visual: Fairly crowded street / sidewalk.

VO: Making more taxis available in New York could be a good thing. But not Mayor Bloomberg’s plan.

Sound: Street noise fades to music; sad/ominous

Visual: Person in wheelchair on corner sidewalk, looking out at street forlornly

VO: Rather than making sure people who are disabled can get a ride, Mayor Bloomberg’s flawed plan lets livery cars pick up passengers from the street – without making even one more car wheelchair-accessible in the boroughs.
Visual: Woman on phone

VO: The mayor’s bill also means fewer cars available for those who can call for one. So those who already have trouble finding a ride will find it even harder.
Visual: Close on a sad-looking person, looking to camera
VO: Tell Mayor Bloomberg his livery bill leaves wheelchair-users stranded.

Visual: Tell Mayor Bloomberg his livery bill leaves wheelchair-users stranded.
Call 311

Taxis for All
Paid for by the United Spinal Association

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