Access Denied: Philadelphia Has No Handicapped-Accessible Taxis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia doesn’t have a single taxi cab on its streets that is accessible to handicapped riders. A local cab company says it’s willing to provide them, but it’s waiting for permission from the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

Everett Abitbol calls his proposed fleet of handicapped accessible cabs, “Freedom Taxi.”

“Taxis actually provide freedom to people who are disabled, if there are wheelchair accessible cabs in this town.”

Abitbol says advocates for the disabled have been trying to get accessible cabs in Philadelphia for 20 years, with no success. He says he took the first step by investing his own money in refitting an initial group of taxis, but he can’t get permission from the Parking Authority to put them on the street.

A Parking Authority spokeswoman says they are still studying the dispatching technology Abitbol wants to use, but Abitbol says they are moving too slowly. “Everyday that things are sitting are days that people can’t get back and forth.”

Several access advocates have supported Abitbol’s petition and Jack Ferguson of the Convention and Visitors Bureau says it would be good for the city economically as well.

“It would be an attribute that we have thought about all the people we serve.

Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio 1060

Top Content On CBSPhilly

More from Pat Loeb
Comments

One Comment

  1. morris says:

    This is ludicrous !!! Last time I checked they paid taxes and are citizens as well. GET IN GEAR PHILLY and get these citizens equal public transportation !!!

  2. HALSCHMERLING says:

    I BELIEVE THAT HANDICAPPED CABS ARE A GOOD IDEA MY MOTHER USES A WALKER AND HAS TROUBBLE USING CABS SHE USES PARA TRANSIT WHICH PICKS HER UP AT HER RESIDENCE AND DROPS HER OFF BUT THE PROBLEM IS YOU NEED TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS 2 DAYS IN ADVANCE AND THEY DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE AN OPENING FOR HER TO GO OUT MAYBE PARATRANSIT WHICH ONLY COSTS 8 DOLLARS ROUND TRIP SHOULD GET MORE VEHICLES AND ALLOW CUSTOMERS TO ORDER A VEHICLE THE SAME DAY WITH OVER 70000 SENIORS IN THIS CITY OUR POLITICIANS SHOULD BE ON BOARD WITH HANDICAPPED CABS

  3. Joan Tily says:

    Rumor has it, this issue was in Govenor Rendell’s last budget in office. It was mixed in with a bunch of bills and it was axed. Do all the top 5 cities have accessible Taxis? And, would these Taxis work for motorized wheelchairs?

  4. Philly Driver says:

    One-sided, planted article. All that Mr. Abitbol wants is to get additional cabs without paying 350K for each taxi medallion. As the cab company owner, he will be charging drivers the same rent as non-handicapped taxi drivers.
    This is all about the money, how to get more cab licenses without paying a full price.
    Freedom Cabs – give me a break. Let’s not pretend that one of the largest medallion owner, Mr. Abitbol has handicapped people interests at heart when he wants to get more cabs on the street. If he cares so much about handicapped people – why does he convert his existing fleet of Crown Vics to mini vans with ramps?

  5. joe nj says:

    here we go again seeing its halloween boo hoo i seen a tons of vans in philly for this many vans will come to your house to get wheel chair etc

  6. w says:

    so, they don’t have mandatory “baby” car seats either…

  7. Shelby says:

    I’ve heard of Equal rights. Not Equla rights.

    Philly’s cabs are some of the worst in the country. They have absolutely no leg room unless you go with the cab companies that use Sudan’s. They need to stop using cabs that look like they are from the 70’s and get with the times. They need to start putting on more vans for the handicapped. After all they charge enough money. Also cab drivers need to be trained more on being courteous and they should know how to get somewhere their passengers need to go. We shouldn’t have to direct them.

    1. jack says:

      “Sudan’s”? Are they from Saudi Arabia?

  8. Jeff from NJ says:

    Where is the ACLU on this one? Why isn’t there accessible taxis in Philly? Any one hear of Equla Rights or the ADA? Soundls like a huge law suit waiting to happen!!! In these tough economic times city government better wake up and do the right thing or end up spending more for lawyers to defend a losing battle.
    Maybe this isn’t the best plan, but what has Philly done since 1990 to address the issue?!?!?!
    Oh and remember disabled people use power wheelchairs so think minvas with liftes/ramps.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Philly

Guide To Oktoberfests And Other Fall Beer Events
Sign Up Now!

Listen Live