by KYW’s Kim Glovas
Next month marks the 20th anniversary of passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Today, Philadelphians with disabilities got the first look at a new vehicle designed specifically for use by people in wheelchairs.
It was on display today at 7th and Market Streets and tomorrow and Wednesday at the Shops at Liberty Place.
The MV-1, made by the Vehicle Production Group, was unveiled outside the social service agency Liberty Resources at 7th and Market. It’s the first-ever vehicle designed from from the ground up to be wheelchair accessible.
Dave Schembi, the group’s CEO, told the crowd that people with disabilities were surveyed to find out what they wanted in a car:
“What you really wanted was an opportunity to ride shotgun, with the driver, right up front, where you’re looking out the front window of a car (applause). And what you wanted when the family says ‘Hey, where should we go for dinner tonight?,’ you have a say because you know you can drive your chair right up that car just like everybody else, get in the car, and you’re off.”
PHL, one of Philadelphia’s taxicab companies, has already ordered 50 of the MV-1s to add to their fleet. The car is expected to retail for about $40,000.
(Photo #1 provided. Photo #2 by KYW’s Kim Glovas)