In New York, a new service became available to wheelchair users in the city. Through “Accessible Dispatch,” the wheelchair users will be able to request cabs that can easily accommodate them with the appropriate ramps. More passengers will be able to enjoy the same privileges other citizens do now that they will be able to hail a cab.
After a decade of research and a successful pilot program, the accessible cab dispatch service will become available to the public. The Accessible Dispatch system will give wheelchair users the ability to request a cab using the Wheels on Wheels app on their phone. By phone, the person can place a call, send a text or call a public number to get a cab. They will also be able to request a cab online.
The system will track all cabs that are wheelchair accessible. Cabs in the vicinity of a wheelchair customer will be alerted if there is a need for a cab that can accommodate the person. The system relies partially on the GPS data generated from wheelchair-accessible cabs using the app.
The new service will lessen the demand for similar services provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. This could result in savings overtime for the agency. The public alternative may no longer be needed once the system is fully deployed.
Those utilizing these services can expect to wait less than 30 minutes for a cab. The cabs must be requested from within Manhattan, but the passengers can get a ride to any other area.
The project will cost the public nothing. The system was set up to be self-funded. For the initial two years, one cab company will oversee and run the accessible dispatch system platform.
Cab drivers contributed to the accessible dispatch project, paying fees to the cab company. The cab company was able to collect $1.2 million from drivers. Drivers serving the patrons will receive a partial payment for serving the customers. The payments will be issued from the funds initially collected from all drivers.
The city expects to add 2,000 additional accessible cabs in the next few years and is currently reviewing certain regulations that may affect a similar mobile-based service from becoming available to west coast regions like West Covina and the greater Orange County and Los Angeles areas. The aim is to have similar mobile-enhanced dispatch services available to patrons.
YellowCab.com is already working to create a tech friendly service that can be accessed easily through a number of different platforms. We already offer reservation service via our website, text and even through tweets and we are looking forward to offering the more of the best tech reservations possible in the future.