senate Bill S1354A

Provides improved access to taxicabs for persons with disabilities

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 10 / Feb / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 10 / Feb / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 1354A

Summary

Provides improved access to taxi cabs for persons with disabilities.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S1354
S1354A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Local Government
Law Section:
General Municipal Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง181, Gen Muni L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1231A
2009-2010: S4861A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1354A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general municipal law, in relation
to providing for improved access to taxicabs for persons with
disabilities

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To require that by 2018 all new taxis in New York city are fully
accessible to people with disabilities.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Amends the general municipal law:

-Provides a definition for "accessible taxicab";
-Requires that by December 31,2017 in cities with a population of one
million or more, the locality will adopt ordinances to provide that,
by June 30, 2018, no taxicab owner will put a taxicab into service
that is not an accessible taxicab;
-Provides a definition for "assistive listening system";
-Requires the Commissioner of Transportation to promulgate rules,
regulations, and standards necessary to effect this act;
-Act taking effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION:

It is a matter of fairness and in spirit with the principles of the
Americans with Disabilities Act that all residents and visitors to New
York city are afforded equal access to all modes of transportation.
New York city is home to one of the largest taxi fleets in the world,
and while New Yorkers and tourists hailing a taxicab is a common
sight, this mode of transportation, virtually synonymous with the New
York city experience, is not accessible to all.

An estimated 60,000 wheelchair-users live in New York city, but only
238 of the 13,000 medallion yellow cabs (less than 2%) are able to
accommodate a wheelchair passenger. Even fewer livery vehicles and
limousines are accessible for wheelchair customers. This inequity is
an every day really for wheelchair users who are often left stranded
without access to a key element of New York city's transportation
infrastructure. The remaining modes of transportation available to
wheelchair users are far from perfect. New York City lags behind other
comparable cities, like London, England, which has maintained a 100%
wheelchair accessible taxi fleet since 1989.

This bill requires that all new taxicabs be equipped with a lift and
ramp that allows for the safe transport of wheelchair users and
scooters.

Over 300,000 New Yorkers are estimated to be blind or of low vision.
For these individuals, consistency is the key to accessibility. So
when credit card machines, for instance, are in different locations
within a vehicle's cab or are designed differently, this is a barrier
to service for low-vision or blind individuals. Similarly, if a
taxicab does not have enough floor space to accommodate a service
animal, an individual traveling with one is not able to ride. Also,


because many hybrid vehicles make far less noise than conventional
gasoline-powered cars, many people of low-vision or blind individuals
are unable to hear these vehicles approach, creating a hazardous
situation. Another problem exists in relation to signage. In 1997, New
York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission ordered all taxicabs to have
Braille signage that provides the taxi's medallion number, the word
"complaints," and a customer service telephone number located in a
consistent location. Unfortunately, signage relating to the rights of
taxi cab consumers and fare schedules are not provided in Braille and
generally the font size for all of these signs is very small, making
it difficult for people who are of low vision to read. This bill
requires that taxicabs are compliant with standard technology (with an
exception for the testing of pilot programs for new systems), provide
sufficient floor space for a service animal, require that
hybrid-powered taxicabs are outfitted with a device that enables the
blind or low vision individuals to hear the vehicle approach, and
provides for large-print and Braille signage. Approximately 10% of the
U.S. population has some form of hearing loss, putting the estimated
number of New York City residents who are deaf or hard of hearing at
just under one million people. For these individuals it is commonly
difficult to communicate with the taxicab driver about their
destination, their preferred route, or to converse about the fare and
payment. This bill requires that new taxicabs be fitted with an
assistive listening system so that people who use a hearing aid can be
connected to an intercom, video, or audio system.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S. 1231A - Died in Local Government
2010: S.4861A/A.7842A (Died in Senate Local Government/Died in
Assembly Third Reading)
2009: S.4861A/A.7842A (Died in Senate Local Government/Died in
Assembly Cities)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 1354--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government -- recom-
  mitted to the Committee on Local Government in accordance with  Senate
  Rule  6,  sec.  8  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered
  reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the general municipal law, in relation to providing  for
  improved access to taxicabs for persons with disabilities

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1.  Section 181 of the general municipal law,  as  amended  by
chapter  579 of the laws of 1993, subdivision 1 as separately amended by
chapters 382 and 385 of the laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows:
  S 181. Ordinances to regulate taxicabs and limousines.  1. The munici-
pal officers and boards in the several cities,  towns  and  villages  of
this state now having the authority to enact ordinances, may adopt ordi-
nances regulating:
  [1.]  (A) The registration and licensing of taxicabs and may limit the
number of taxicabs to be licensed and  the  county  of  Westchester  may
adopt  ordinances  regulating the registration and licensing of taxicabs
and limousines and may limit the number to be licensed;  the  county  of
Nassau  may adopt ordinances regulating the registration of taxicabs and
limousines; and the county of Suffolk may  adopt  ordinances  regulating
the  registration  of taxicabs, limousines, and livery vehicles; and the
county of Rockland may adopt local laws  or  ordinances  regulating  the
registration  and licensing of taxicabs, limousines, and livery vehicles
and may limit the number to be licensed.
  [2.] (B) Parking and passenger  pick-up  and  discharge  by  taxicabs,
limousines  and  livery  vehicles.  Establishment of such ordinances and
regulations regulating parking and passenger pick-up and discharges  may
be based upon recommendations from municipal planning officials or other

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01827-02-4

S. 1354--A                          2

public  entities  and  may  address  and  take  into  consideration such
factors, including, but not limited to, geographic areas, vehicle  type,
limiting  the  number of parked vehicles and activities undertaken while
parked, and periods of idling.
  2.  THE  MUNICIPAL OFFICERS AND BOARDS IN ANY CITY HAVING A POPULATION
OF MORE THAN ONE MILLION SHALL NO LATER THAN DECEMBER THIRTY-FIRST,  TWO
THOUSAND SEVENTEEN ADOPT ORDINANCES PROVIDING:
  (A) THAT "ACCESSIBLE TAXICAB" SHALL MEAN ANY VEHICLE THAT
  (1) IS EQUIPPED WITH A LIFT, RAMP, OR ANY OTHER DEVICE, ARRANGEMENT OR
ALTERATION, SO IT IS CAPABLE OF TRANSPORTING PERSONS WITH PHYSICAL DISA-
BILITIES,  INCLUDING  THOSE  WHO  USE  WHEELCHAIRS, SCOOTERS AND SIMILAR
DEVICES WHILE THEY REMAIN SEATED IN THEIR WHEELCHAIRS, SCOOTERS OR SIMI-
LAR DEVICES;
  (2) COMPLIES WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS SET FORTH IN REGULATIONS  PROMUL-
GATED  UNDER  THE  AMERICANS  WITH  DISABILITIES  ACT AND CODIFIED AT 49
C.F.R. SECTIONS 38.23, 38.25 AND 38.31, AS AMENDED, WHETHER OR NOT THOSE
REGULATIONS WOULD APPLY UNDER FEDERAL LAW;
  (3) IS EQUIPPED WITH AN ASSISTIVE LISTENING SYSTEM  FOR  PERSONS  WITH
HEARING  IMPAIRMENT  THAT IS CONNECTED WITH ANY INTERCOM, VIDEO OR AUDIO
SYSTEM, WHEN SUCH A SYSTEM IS INSTALLED;
  (4) ASSURES THAT THE TECHNOLOGY UTILIZED BY TAXICABS IS COMPLIANT WITH
THE  STANDARDS  PROMULGATED  BY  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF   TRANSPORTATION;
PROVIDED THAT A LOCAL AUTHORITY WITH OVERSIGHT OVER TAXICABS, LIMOUSINES
AND LIVERY VEHICLES MAY CONDUCT PILOT PROGRAMS TESTING NEW SYSTEMS;
  (5)  IS  EQUIPPED WITH STANDARDIZED SIGNS PRINTED IN: (A) BRAILLE; AND
(B) LARGE-PRINT TEXT SO THAT SUCH SIGNS ARE VISIBLE TO PERSONS WITH  LOW
VISION;
  (6)  PROVIDES  SUFFICIENT FLOOR SPACE TO ACCOMMODATE A SERVICE ANIMAL;
AND
  (7) IF POWERED BY A HYBRID-ELECTRIC POWER PLANT, IS EQUIPPED  WITH  AN
APPROPRIATE  DEVICE TO ENABLE PERSONS WHO ARE BLIND TO HEAR THE APPROACH
OF THE VEHICLE AS READILY AS THEY CAN HEAR A CONVENTIONAL  GASOLINE-POW-
ERED TAXICAB.
  (B)  THAT  NO  OWNER OF A TAXICAB SHALL PLACE ANY TAXICAB INTO SERVICE
SUBSEQUENT TO JUNE THIRTIETH, TWO THOUSAND EIGHTEEN WHICH TAXICAB IS NOT
AN ACCESSIBLE TAXICAB.
  3. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "ASSISTIVE LISTENING SYSTEM"
SHALL  MEAN  SITUATIONAL-PERSONAL   ACOUSTIC   COMMUNICATION   EQUIPMENT
DESIGNED  TO  IMPROVE  THE TRANSMISSION AND AUDITORY RECEPTION OF SOUND.
SUCH SYSTEM SHALL INCLUDE BUT NOT BE LIMITED  TO  THE  USE  OF  STANDARD
AMPLITUDE  MODULATION  (AM),  FREQUENCY MODULATION (FM), AUDIO INDUCTION
LOOP, INFRARED LIGHT SOUND, OR HARD WIRE SYSTEMS.
  S 2. The commissioner of transportation shall  promulgate  any  rules,
regulations  and standards necessary to give effect of the provisions of
this act, including, but not limited to rules, regulations and standards
concerning the standardization of assistive listening technology  avail-
able in taxicabs and the content of signs available in taxicabs to visu-
ally impaired persons.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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