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.READ MORE: Officials Introduce People Over Politics Petition Calling For Change In Rules For Pennsylvania Politicians
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.”READ MORE: 'This Senseless Act Crushes Us': Mother Of Temple University Student Killed During Attempted Robbery Off-Campus Demanding Justice
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.MORE NEWS: Teen Shot Nearly 20 Times, Killed Outside Of North Philadelphia Rite Aid, Police Say