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PPA Requiring 300 City Cabs To Be Wheelchair-Accessible By End Of The Year

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File Photo (Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)

File Photo (Photo by Jeff Fusco/Getty Images)

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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Parking Authority says it will require that 300 taxicabs in the city be wheelchair-accessible by the end of 2012 and it will choose the 300 through a lottery. Cab owners are less than thrilled.

Parking Authority Executive Director Vince Fennerty says he spent months trying to convince taxi cab owners to voluntarily fit some cabs with wheelchair accessible equipment, without success. So the Parking Authority instead will mandate the change for 300 medallion cabs with a lottery.

“There are 1600 medallion cabs. We will place each medallion number on a paper card, and 300 will be chosen. Hopefully we would be able to have people with disabilities have accessible cabs in Philadelphia.”

This lottery is subject to state approval. Ron Blount, President of the Taxi Workers Alliance, says he supports the goal but doesn’t like the lottery idea. Many taxi owners, he says, can’t afford the new equipment.

“You don’t want to put people out of business. You don’t want to sabotage the medallion market.”

The plan also mandates that all taxis in the city would be accessible to the disable by 2016.

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