July 4, 2015 |
The first of an anticipated 150 wheelchair-accessible taxis was put into service in Philadelphia Thursday, the Philadelphia Parking Authority said. Starting with one now, PPA's goal is to have 61 wheelchair-friendly cabs on the street by the end of this year. The target date for 150 cabs is 2021. The authority started trying sell medallions for wheelchair cabs for $475,000 each last October, but was forced to dramatically cut the price when no buyers emerged amid the uncertainty created by competition from ride-share operators such as Uber and Lyft.
July 4, 2015 |
The Philadelphia Parking Authority on Thursday unveiled the vanguard of a new fleet of wheelchair-accessible taxi cabs coming to the city. PPA plans to put 61 of the cabs in service by the end of 2015. The goal is for 150 to be on the road by 2021. According to the advocacy group Taxis for All Philadelphia, more than 128,800 Philadelphians have an ambulatory disability, but only seven of the 1,599 taxicabs in Philadelphia are wheelchair-accessible. An eighth was added Thursday. The new cab, the product of American Mobility Transportation of Morrisville, Bucks County, resembles a small minivan with a foldout rear ramp to permit access by a wheelchair user.
July 3, 2015 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Parking Authority rolled out the first in a fleet of 150 new wheelchair-accessible taxi vans yesterday morning. For those who use wheelchairs, the development was worth the two-hour wait they'd usually endure to hail an accessible cab, said Leah Smith, a volunteer with Taxis For All Philadelphia, which advocates for wheelchair-accessible taxis. The new taxi was introduced at a news conference called yesterday by Taxis For All Philadelphia and the PPA at the PPA's Taxicab and Limo Division in Southwest Philadelphia.
June 27, 2015 |
The Philadelphia Parking Authority board approved the sale of 23 medallions for wheelchair-accessible taxis on Thursday, and 20 other sales are pending. The medallions will be placed on new taxis that will be placed in service within the next few months. Most of the 43 sold so far at auction have been purchased by the owners or associates of Philadelphia's two biggest cab fleets, Freedom Taxi and 215-GET-A-CAB, formerly All City and Checker cabs, the PPA said. The prices for the new medallions have ranged from $80,000 in May to $110,000 this week.
May 25, 2015 |
It started with a logo - something Jimmy Curran thought captured the driving belief of his life: that no one should be defined by their limitations. He sketched it on a piece of paper: [dis]ABLE . The [dis] has a strike through it. Underneath, he wrote: For all those who said I couldn't. To Curran, who has been in a wheelchair nearly all of his 26 years, the meaning was simple as it was universal: We all have limitations. And we all have the ability to disable those limits, to overcome them.
May 8, 2015 |
After seven months of trying, the Philadelphia Parking Authority on Wednesday sold the first three medallions for new wheelchair-accessible cabs, at a much-discounted price of $80,000 each. The PPA attracted no buyers when it offered the medallions for a starting bid of $475,000 in October, or when it cut the price to $350,000 in January. The price for regular taxi medallions has slipped from about $500,000 to $400,000 in recent months, amid market uncertainty and the arrival of ride-share operators such as Uber and Lyft.
January 28, 2015 |
THE MEN with the bad legs - the one in the rickety wheelchair and the one with the cane that looks as if it might snap under his weight - are the first to be counted. Dewey Flynn, with the cane, doesn't mind the well-intentioned volunteer canvassers counting him as one of the city's homeless. He thanks them for the toiletries and the gift card for free pizza at Rosa's, the pizza joint at 11th and Chestnut that's gotten a lot of buzz for feeding the homeless. But Flynn issues a stern warning from the red metal bench where he sits in his socks near the 18th Street entrance of Suburban Station, his work boots placed neatly in front of him. "I'm not going to no shelter.
January 26, 2015 |
I LIKE PLUGGERS. My favorite plugger these days is pint-sized charmer Melissa Shang. Not because she sparred with American Girl, maker of dolls that bankrupt you, and lost. But because she's gonna make a believer out of those who told her no. Melissa is 11 years old, has a super-best friend named Cassidy, carefully observes what the "the cool girls" wear at school, makes fun of her dad's cellphone ineptitude and sings a heart-melting rendition of "Let it Go. " So she's practically indistinguishable from a million other sixth-grade girls in America.
November 23, 2014 |
Four years ago, Patricia Crebase went out to the Broad Street Run to cheer for a friend competing in the 10-mile race. "I got out on the route extra early, and I saw the wheelchair athletes go by," she said. "I just had that moment of, well, it's put up or shut up. " Crebase, an underwriter from Philadelphia, will be competing in the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday. It is her first full marathon. Crebase, 43, has MS, which was diagnosed in 1995, and she has been in a wheelchair for 10 years.
September 24, 2014 |
Uber, the ride-sharing company that matches riders with drivers by smartphone app, will now provide connections to wheelchair-accessible vehicles in Philadelphia, it said Monday. Uber has contracted with licensed paratransit drivers who have accessible vehicles, and customers can begin using the service immediately, Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said Monday. The announcement came one day before a legislative committee is to meet in Harrisburg to consider legislation that would permit Uber and other ride-share services to operate in Philadelphia and around the state.