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D.C. To Begin Offering Wheelchair-Accessible Cabs

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The pilot program will convert 33 MetroAccess vans into cabs.
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The pilot program will convert 33 MetroAccess vans into cabs.

The number of wheelchair-accessible taxicabs is expected to increase by more than 100 percent this fall.

The D.C. Taxicab Commission and Metro have reached a deal to convert 33 MetroAccess vans into wheelchair-accessible taxicabs starting October 1. It is a pilot program that will allow some MetroAccess customers who travel to dialysis to use a converted van at a cheaper rate — $5 per trip instead of $7.

Commission Chairman Ron Linton says there will be other advantages.

“People who need this service will only have to reserve a vehicle one hour in advance in order to get a ride. And they will only be using the vehicle themselves or with whoever is helping them or accompanying them. They will not have to share a van with three or four other people and make a number of stops between where they picked up and where they get dropped off," he says.

The new program will also save the District money, as the per-ride subsidy will be reduced from $56 to $33, a savings estimate of close to $2 million annually. Linton says there are only 20 wheelchair accessible cabs in the District currently.

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