Assessing the Full Cost of Implementing An Accessible Taxicab Program

  • Source: Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Foundation
  • Date: 05/01/2010

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) federal legislation was enacted to eliminate discrimination based on disability. Although the ADA specifically exempts automobile-type vehicles, including most taxicabs, from the requirement to be wheelchair accessible, it has greatly affected the taxicab industry in the United States. First, many of the current ADA- mandated trips which were formerly provided by taxicabs, are currently provided by public transit agencies or non-profit firms. These firms provide taxpayer-supported ADA complementary paratransit service. As a result, the market for privately-provided services has all but been eliminated. It is hard to compete with free or largely free services. Secondly, some state and local regulatory authorities are going beyond the federal legislation and mandating that ADA-approved accessible vehicles be a part (typically 2% to 5%) of their permitted taxi fleets. Some taxicab companies are being forced to bear the significantly increased costs in order to provide these accessible transportation services – often without appropriate public financial support. Included among these increased costs are the cost of an ADA-compliant vehicle, operating costs such as fuel due to decreased gas mileage/efficiency, liability insurance, training, vehicle productivity, passenger assistance on ingress and egress, and perhaps vehicle shipping. Finally, for those communities that have mandated wheelchair accessible taxicab services, there is the problem of having an independent contractor driver willingly accept these trips, a topic to be more fully addressed within the scope of this study.

Open Resource


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