D.C.'s Accessible Cab Drivers Matter As Much As Cabs Themselves | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

D.C.'s Accessible Cab Drivers Matter As Much As Cabs Themselves

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.

Thanks to a million dollar federal grant, 20 new minivan taxis equipped with retractable wheelchair ramps will be on the streets of Washington.

And behind the wheels of these taxis will be people like driver Jim Lane.

"We do our job as normal, with the exception of moving chairs in and out," he says.

One of Lane's potential clients, Bobby Coward, says Lane is being modest. Coward's been confined to a wheelchair for two decades, and he says when it comes to transportation for people with disabilities, the vehicle is often less important than the person operating it.

"You know, how would the driver respond if the individual with disabilities is having a crisis, some type of medical outburst?" he says. "What do you do? You've got to respond quick."

In addition to learning how to move the wheelchairs in and out of the taxis, the drivers also receive sensitivity training for their new clientele.

NPR

David Oyelowo On Acting, His Royal Roots And The One Role He Won't Take

The British-born Nigerian actor talks about playing an American veteran in Nightingale, the reasons he stays in character for weeks at a time and his aversion to playing "the black best friend."
NPR

Bugs: Not What's For Dinner — Until They're Tastier, Maybe

A U.K. researcher says the environmental argument for eating bugs isn't working on its own. She says chefs and policymakers must "make insect dishes appeal as food, not just a way to save the planet."
NPR

5 Things You Should Know About George Pataki

For most voters, the name George Pataki might not ring a bell. But he was the last Republican elected to major statewide office in New York in more than 20 years. And he's running for president.
NPR

Smartphones Are So Smart They Can Now Test Your Vision

In a new study, an easy-to-use app did just as good a job as the machines in an eye doctor's office. That's a boon for people in low-income countries — and really for anyone with vision issues.

Leave a Comment

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