Accessible Dispatch launched in 2012 to provide New York City residents and visitors greater access to wheelchair accessible taxis in Manhattan. In 2017, the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) partnered with MTM to expand the TLC’s Accessible Dispatch Program to all five boroughs, which incorporated green taxis into the program. The increased coverage and higher volume of green and yellow wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) has provided individuals with disabilities additional options for transportation—allowing passengers to access the city like never before.
“While New York City’s public transit system functions for many, people with disabilities face daily challenges due to the lack of accessibility, particularly where wheelchair access is concerned. Accessible Dispatch changes that completely. Whether a passenger is securing a reliable ride to a doctor’s appointment or sightseeing in fast-paced New York City, Accessible Dispatch makes getting around easier, faster and more convenient,” explained MTM’s Accessible Dispatch Program Manager Crys Cooper.
Where Can We Pick You Up?
Accessible Dispatch’s on-demand booking system provides passengers with a variety of user-friendly options. Passengers can access WAV taxi services by calling the dispatch center directly at (646) 599-9999 or by dialing 311. Accessible Dispatch also provides tech savvy commuters and travelers with the option to secure rides via the Accessible Dispatch mobile app (search “WAV Taxi” in the app store) or website at https://mtm.ridewithzoom.com/#/booking. Once rides are confirmed, as part of the program’s door-to-door service, the closest available WAV taxi is sent directly to the passenger’s pick-up location. Drivers are trained to appropriately assist the passenger into the vehicle using the ramp, and drivers are also prepared to secure the passenger’s mobility device using the vehicle’s wheelchair securement system. Once the final destination has been reached, the driver helps the passenger exit the vehicle to get them safely to the curb.
“The Accessible Dispatch Program is more than just a cab service. It is about putting WAV options into the hands of our valued passengers, helping them develop a deeper sense of independence. In a city like New York that is universally known for its diversity and inclusion, it is important that individuals with disabilities also be a part of the conversation,” stated Steven Williams, MTM Community
Drivers are Part of the Accessibility Formula
Accessible Dispatch’s growth is also credited to the drivers who go the extra mile, from providing stellar customer service, to performing necessary safety protocols, to ensuring an excellent rider experience. This does not go unnoticed by Accessible Dispatch and the TLC. To show appreciation for these unsung heroes, the TLC recognizes drivers at their annual Honor Roll event, and Accessible Dispatch has implemented incentive programs to reward exceptional drivers. For example, veteran TLC driver Baris Kaynaroglu was recently recognized as the July Driver of the Month, a prestigious recognition within Accessible Dispatch. Baris sets an incredible example to his peers and serves as an inspiration to others. Additionally, he feels that Accessible Dispatch genuinely cares about his well-being as a businessman
“First of all, I like helping people who use wheelchairs. Besides, the bad thing about other programs is, if the passenger cancels or doesn’t show up, we don’t get anything. There is no money and your time is wasted. But the good thing about Accessible Dispatch is that I am sure I won’t waste my time, I can earn good money, and I can help people as well. When I am out of Manhattan, I can drop passengers to other boroughs. Usually it is difficult to get ride on the way back, but with Accessible Dispatch, I get rides from other boroughs as well, and I get to make extra money,” Baris explained with his award in hand.
From dedicated drivers to a robust, tech savvy new way to book a WAV ride, Accessible Dispatch is revamping the way the disabled community travels around New York City! To learn more, visit: www.accessibledispatch.com.