John Liu, New York City comptroller, has said he won't register the contract for a fleet of new Nissan taxis until every last one is made wheelchair accessible. There are currently just 231 cabs with wheelchair ramps in the city, though that number will jump by another 2,000 units next year. Even so, Liu said the current cab system is "separate and unequal." The city comptroller signs off on every contract the city makes, but Liu doesn't technically have the authority to block the contract unless there's evidence of corruption. While speaking at his press conference, Liu admitted as much during questioning from reporters.

According to The New York Post, Liu may be attempting to draw attention away from a federal probe into his campaign finances as he vies to be a mayoral candidate in the next election. While he says he takes the federal investigation seriously, he also plans to continue with the work of his office and his blossoming campaign for mayor.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 47 Comments
      lne937s
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan already a wheelchair accessable version of the NV200 taxi that has been available in other markets for over a year now. It has won awards for its wheelchair accessability. NYC just didn't specify that all taxi's had to be wheelchair accessable when they set forth the perameters for the selection process. There are still versions of the NV200 that will be made wheelchair accessable, but making them all that way was never part of the original proposal or selection process. The time to bring up wheelchair accessability was when the process started, not after the final design was selected. http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/NEWS/2011/_STORY/110302-02-e.html
      kcroc10077
      • 2 Years Ago
      Non Story. 1. He can't do anything to stop it. 2. the new cabs are designed for wheelchair access. 3. He's giving his future political opponents ammo to use against him.
      nomadsto
      • 2 Years Ago
      No decision regarding the public can ever be simple can it? Not in a country with 311million special interest groups.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Randy
        • 2 Years Ago
        And where is your families origin? Unless you have a TiPi and a feather in your hair it's somewhere else so stop being a moron. It's 2012, not 1775.
      ken
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mmmm... So how the Crown Victoria pass the "accessibility test"? And how a Nissan Van has less swallow capability a chair and its passenger than any other cars?
        SloopJohnB
        • 2 Years Ago
        @ken
        You're missing the point...the Nissan is designed to be wheelchair accessible, obviously the old Ford panther platform was inherently not wheelchair accessible..the crip had to be offloaded into the cab and the wheelchair put in the trunk. The new cabs should enable the wheelchair to directly roll into the cab, much like a bus with a ramp.
          ThomasP
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SloopJohnB
          I do not approve of your use of "the crip." They're frickin' people!
      barreto
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bureaucrats do everything they can to screw up real jobs and economic growth.
      David MacGillis
      • 2 Years Ago
      Enjoy being in bed with the city of New York, Nissan. HAHAHAHAHAHAAH
      lorenzo
      • 2 Years Ago
      it must be a bitch to get around NY if you are in a wheel chair. elevators are always busted, & everything is so old
      lorenzo
      • 2 Years Ago
      the competition: MV-1 Vehicle Production Group is wheelchair accessible, and made in the USA it had a Ford Engine - but it lost to the Nissan ......this is all about politics, and the story is much deeper as to why the Nissan won in the first place - which I dont know anything about
      RGT881
      • 2 Years Ago
      Guy is a scmuck! He is playing the game of politics and I think it's just him flexing his muscle. If we were to take him seriously then all front parking spots should be handicap friendly and two, someone would have to pay for this. So cost of fare would go up significantly for both handicap and non-handicap people. Why does he want to further his political agenda at someone else's expense? What a putz!
        waetherman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @RGT881
        First of all, all public accommodations have to make be accessible for those with disabilities. That's the law. Second, that's not just the law, it's a good idea; if we don't make these services accessible, those people end up being excluded from completely. It's hard enough to get around in NYC (or just about anywhere, really) for people in wheelchairs, what with the subways often lacking elevators and such, so a cab is often the best way and sometimes the only way for the disabled to get around. Third, New Yorkers are already footing the bill for the paratransit system to the tune of about $400 million a year because the rest of the transit system is so inaccessible to the handicapped that we had to set up a whole other system of transport just for the disabled. And even at that cost, it's not a good system - it's innefficient, slow, and travel must be arranged well ahead of time, unlike for most New Yorkers who are able to just walk out on the street and hail a cab whenever they want. Finally, the cost of running a taxi in New York is more than a million dollars - that's just for the medallion. The cost of operation (in addition to the cost of the vehicle) is probably about $50,000 per year for gas and maintenance. The price difference for making the cars purchased handicap-accessible is a very, very small percentage of the total cost. Making all cabs wheelchair accessible is a really good idea, especially as more New Yorkers (and more visitors) get older and require it.
      BTCC
      • 2 Years Ago
      Another blowhard politician that thinks he is way more important than he is.
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      If 1.8% of the population requires a wheelchair, why would you want more than 2% of your taxi-fleet go through the expense and impracticality of being wheelchair accessible? If you're unfortunate enough to require special treatment, such as being wheelchair bound, have a plan in place or call the taxi company and ask to be picked up in a wheelchair accessible cab. Pretty simple.
        waetherman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        You clearly have no understanding how cabs work in New York. If you want to take one, you don't call them you hail them. That's the convenience that all New Yorkers enjoy, and to deny that option for the disabled is to subject them to unequal treatment. If only 2% of the taxis were wheelchair accessible, the typical wheelchair-bound patron would have to watch 50 taxis roll by before being able to hail one. That's just not reasonable. The "added expense" of making the fleet wheelchair accessible is marginal; the cost of a license (medallion) to run a taxi is already $1,000,000. Operation costs are another $50,000 annually, plus the cost of a car. Even if making the taxis wheelchair accessible costs another $20,000, that would still be less than 2% of the total cost of running a cab. And that added cost is offset (at least in part) by the $400,000,000 in savings that would result from getting rid of the Paratransit system, which is used to supplement the system because public transportation and taxis aren't accessible. Finally, there's a huge added benefit to making NYC more accessible to the disabled in the form of tourism and residential quality of life - as the population ages, more and more people are going to need access to these kinds of services and making sure they can continue to live in NYC rather than moving to a retirement home in Florida is good for New York in general.
          WillieD
          • 2 Years Ago
          @waetherman
          The cost of a license to run a taxi is 1 million dollars? What? That doesn't sound right at all.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @waetherman
          [blocked]
          usa1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @waetherman
          Faulty math. The medallion can be resold. It retains it's value and tends to go up. It never wears out. It needs to be removed your calculations to make and honest assessment.
    • Load More Comments