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Saturday, December 24, 2011

NYC Taxi decision – Victory!! (Simi Linton, Plaintiff, Celebrates)

Justice has been
served!  Judge George Daniels has
ruled that meaningful access to the NYC taxi system is required.

Christopher Noel, Simi Linton, United Spinal, The Taxis for All Campaign,
Disabled in Action brought a civil rights class action suit against The New
York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, and Commissioner David Yassky.  Disability Rights Advocates represented
the plaintiffs.

Judge Daniels ruling calls for
“meaningful access” to taxis for people who are disabled. Though he does not
define precisely what that means, he writes:

“It is clear, however, that
less than 2% of the city’s fleet being wheelchair accessible, resulting in the
unavailability of taxi transportation and significantly increased waiting times
for disabled persons who require wheelchairs, is not meaningful access. In
fact, during oral argument, the TLC conceded that its regulations do not
provide meaningful access to individual who require wheelchairs. It must do so.”

In a footnote, he also writes:

“…meaningful access for the
disabled to public transportation services is not a utopian goal or political
promise, it is a basic civil right. Title II requires immediate and full

Isn’t this terrific!  Of course, there will be more news
stories on this – but for now it is important to spread the word, and rally
people behind this decision.  We have yet to see how "meaningful access" will be interpreted - and what the true impact will be.  Whatever way it is implemented, the ruling itself will certainly have an impact on New York City, and hopefully will also have broad impact
on future rulings across the U.S.

Simi Linton
Disability/Arts Consultancy

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