Wheelchair-Accessible Taxis Arrive In D.C. | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Wheelchair-Accessible Taxis Arrive In D.C.

Play associated audio
Taxi driver Jim Lane secures his first passenger, Bobby Coward, in his new wheelchair-accessible cab.
David Schultz
Taxi driver Jim Lane secures his first passenger, Bobby Coward, in his new wheelchair-accessible cab.

A taxi driver is strapping Bobby Coward's wheelchair into a brand new mini-van taxi with a ramp on the back. Coward has been confined to a wheelchair ever since a car accident two decades ago. He says these new taxis, 20 of them, open up a whole new world for him.

"It's letting the world know that people with disabilities are now wanting to be included into society. We're no longer restricted to our homes. We can get out and move within our country," Coward says.

Unlike the MetroAccess transit service, these taxis are on-demand 24 hours a day. Other suburban areas already have fleets of accessible taxis, so D.C. is a little late to the game.

An industry executive says the way taxis work in the District, where each individual driver is an independent contractor, made working out the business model more difficult.

But now, with a $1 million federal subsidy for the 20 cabs, they're here. And Coward says it's not a moment too soon.

"It's impact's a giant leap. It's historical," he says.

The regional planners who secured the subsidy say they hope to expand to more taxis and maybe even reduce the demand for MetroAccess, something Metro has long been struggling to do.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 1, 2015

You can check out work by local women artists or see a comedy about how one woman’s midlife crisis affects those around her.

WAMU 88.5

Food Packaging & Pricing

Have you ever popped open a bag of potato chips only to be disappointed by the number of crisps in your bag? It's not just you. To avoid raising prices, companies often increase their "nonfunctional slack fill" or the difference between the volume of product and its container. We talk about how food packaging affects your recipe and wallet.

NPR

Clinton Announces $45 Million Fundraising Haul

Hillary Clinton's campaign says it raised more than $45 million in its opening quarter. She's the first major candidate to announce fundraising numbers.
NPR

USA's 'Mr. Robot,' HBO's 'Ballers' Among Picks For Best Summer TV Series

A flood of some 120 series, both new and returning, are coming to TV sets this summer. So, how to choose which ones to binge-watch by the pool? Our TV critic picks his four favorite new shows.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.