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Judge: NYC taxi agency must help disabled riders

File of a New York City cab (AP Photo)

December 23, 2011 7:36:24 PM PST
A federal judge has barred New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission from issuing permits for taxicabs unless they're accessible to people with disabilities. Advocates for the disabled say it's a milestone decision that could have national implications.

Federal Judge George Daniels issued his ruling Friday. He says the commission can provide taxi medallions only for wheelchair-accessible vehicles until it produces a comprehensive plan to provide meaningful access to taxicab service for disabled passengers. He says the plan must include targeted goals and anticipated measurable results.

The ruling came in response to a lawsuit by disability rights groups accusing the commission of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Only 233 of the more than 13,000 taxis in the nation's biggest city are wheelchair accessible.

City attorneys say they're disappointed with the ruling.

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