Welcome to the Metro Taxi Press Room-- a 24/7 taxi-stop for your questions and comments. Since Metro Taxi is in the community and for the community, your questions are important to our continuous improvement, business development and public outreach efforts. Like our around-the-clock cab service, feel free to hail us at any time with your inquiries or feedback. We want you to know as much about our family-owned business as possible.
In this video, Joe Genera talks about his daily journey from his home in Connecticut to New York City, where he is pursuing an acting career.
As a wheelchair user, Genera uses Accessible Dispatch -- operated by Metro Taxi CT -- to get to and from NYC auditions.
Continue reading Video: How I Get Around NYC as an Actor in a Wheelchair
About 100 Calgarians with disabilities and their supporters boarded buses for Edmonton on Wednesday to protest the Alberta government's plan to cut services.
They are heading to the capital to join a demonstration on the steps of the legislature to demand the Tories reverse a decision to cut about $42 million in cuts to Community Access Supports Programs.
Those programs help get disabled people out into the community through volunteer and recreational activities.
"Now you see me ... is the name of our rally," said Disability Action Hall member Lloyd Thornhill.
"With these cuts we might disappear from the community and that is not good for us or anyone else," he said.
The province has said it wants to spend less on support services and more on other areas, such as employment.
Continue reading Calgarians Join Provincial Rally Against Disability Cuts
Airline passengers are often frustrated by the long wait to get through security. However, people seem to be finding a way around it by using a wheelchair, even if they are not disabled.
As CBS 2′s Emily Smith reported on Monday, there has been an uptick in the use of wheelchairs in airports in the Tri-State Area and nationally.
"We've handled maybe 100 wheelchairs a year. Now there are some times where we can handle 100 wheelchairs in a day," Westchester County Airport Manager Peter Scherrer told Smith.
Mid-sized Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport keeps 300 wheelchairs on hand at all times now. Los Angeles International Airport receives 2,000 requests a day for special assistance.
The increase is partly because more people with disabilities are traveling, but disability advocates are blowing the whistle on able-bodied passengers who they contend are playing the system to save time or board the plane sooner.
Continue reading Disability Advocates Speak Out Against Airport Wheelchair Abusers
To see the world as 15-year-old Charlotte Brown does, imagine looking through a tiny straw. Strip away all color and depth perception from the pinhole view and use a right eye that can't distinguish shape from shadow.
Now run about 24 metres, counting seven steps with your left foot before planting a nearly four meter pole in the ground to launch your body a dozen feet into the air.
That's right. Brown is a pole vaulter. And despite being legally blind, she's one of the best in Texas and a favorite to medal Saturday in Class 3A at the high school state championship meet at the University of Texas.
"I've always wanted to do stuff with adrenaline," Brown said. "Most people think it's crazy to pole vault. I've always just thought it would be lot of fun. I run full speed at a stationary object that I can't see."
Continue reading Blind Teen Pole Vaulter Charlotte Brown is One of Texas' Best Despite Her Disability
It seemed this day might never come, but here we are: The D.C. Taxicab Commission voted Wednesday to publish regulations requiring all city cabs to accept credit and debit card payments by Aug. 31.
Assuming some other hiccup doesn't arise in the coming weeks -- which is not out of the realm of possibility, given the star-crossed nature of this endeavor -- cab owners will start installing commission-approved "modern taximeter systems" on June 1. They will have three months to come into compliance.
The new regulations include some fare changes that will make most rides more expensive. The base fare will be raised June 1 from $3 to $3.25 and an additional-passenger fee of $1 per rider [clarification: the fee is $1 for all additional riders beyond the first] is being re-instituted after a yearlong hiatus
Continue reading Taxi Commission Makes it Official: Credit Cards in all D.C. Cabs by Aug. 31
Facing soaring gasoline prices in 2011 and more than 100 miles of daily driving for his job as a traveling nurse, Daniel Piekarek confronted an uneasy choice: find cheaper gas or start updating his résumé. So, a few years before many of the world's biggest companies would follow suit, Piekarek crossed his fingers and turned his life over to natural gas. On Ebay he bought a used Honda Civic GX, the only commercially available natural gas vehicle in the U.S. at the time. "My costs went from $30 a day to $5 a day," says Piekarek, who lives in Michigan and pays as low as the equivalent of $1.50 a gallon to fill up. "It's been a real moneymaker."
The shale revolution, which in recent years turned fracking into a household word and the U.S. into the world's second-largest natural gas producer, is only half a revolution. It increased supply enough to meet current U.S. consumption for 100 years. To truly upend the global energy balance, the U.S. must also revolutionize demand. And the only way to do that is to get natural gas into what has always been the greatest prize: light trucks, 18-wheelers, government and delivery fleets, and, of course, private cars.
Continue reading Why Natural Gas-Powered Vehicles are Catching On
Entering the exhibit at the 22nd annual National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association conference in Daytona Beach, Fla., this year, I pause. The dazzling chrome and gleaming colors of all the new vehicles and equipment on display gives me the same thrill of anticipation as I used to get entering auto shows in my walkie days. But it also reminds me how far the industry has come since I bought my first adapted van 35 years ago.
Back then my choices boiled down to which full-size van I wanted, whether to choose a platform or swing-out lift and what local mom and pop converter to use. Now I can choose from an array of minivans, full-size vans, pickup trucks, SUVs and specialty vehicles, made accessible by equipment manufacturers and second stage manufacturers and sold and serviced by local dealers. And what better place could there be to view them than the annual meeting of mobility dealers (over 600 strong) and the manufacturers who supply them?
Continue reading Motorvation: New Choices
Take Frito-Lay, for instance. Its distribution plant in Burlington already has three electric trucks to move its goods to grocery stores, with another five expected to be operational later this year. Five more are expected to begin service at another of its distribution centers in Franklin Park, according to Gino Porter, the company's senior fleet manager for its east division.
The company nationwide has the largest commercial electrical vehicle fleet in the nation, with 300 trucks that have already have logged more than three million miles on the roads, Porter said. The company also is using 200 tractors, which run on compressed natural gas.
If the state is going to achieve aggressive targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, then it has to focus on the transportation sector, one of the biggest sources of pollution that contributes to global climate change, according to clean energy advocates.
Continue reading NJ Could Get Help Cleaning Up Its Act with Fuels for Alternative Vehicles
DENVER- More alternative fuel vehicles may soon be on Colorado's roadways, thanks to a new bill recently signed into law.
SB 070 encourages the use of alternative fuel sources for the state's motor vehicle fleet system.
The bipartisan measure, sponsored by Reps. Ray Scott, R-Grand Junction, and Max Tyler, D-Lakewood, requires newly purchased state vehicles to operate on alternative sources if their price is no more than 10 percent more than the cost of a comparable refined fuel.
Continue reading Hickenlooper Signs Bill Promoting Alternative Fuel Vehicles
The General Services Administration - the fleet purchasing arm of the U.S. government - said this week it will acquire 10,000 hybrids to nearly double the number of these alternative powertrain vehicles in an effort to save fuel and cut emissions.
In May 2011, President Obama gave orders to government employees to cease driving full-sized sedans and SUVs unless necessary. The order does have a loophole allowing for E85 vehicles to count as "alternative fueled" even if they are never filled with E85, but overall it appears the rule is taking positive effect.
Continue reading Uncle Sam to Lease 10,000 New Hybrids
The U.S. Department of the Interior will become the first federal agency to take advantage of a new program to update its fleet of vehicles with gas-sipping hybrids.
The initiative is part of a General Services Administration effort to replace aging government cars with as many as 10,000 hybrids.
The Interior Department will receive 300 gasoline and alternative-fuel vehicles--about a third of the vehicles the department is expecting to replace.
Under the Fleet Consolidation program, the GSA will fund the cost difference to purchase hybrid sedans.
Continue reading Hybrid Cars to Join U.S. Governmnent's Fleet Under New Program
UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced the accelerated growth of its alternative vehicle fleet with plans to purchase approximately 700 liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles and to build four refueling stations by the end of 2014. Once completed, the LNG private fleet will be one of the most extensive in the U.S.
UPS driver, Joseph McGinn, fuels a liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicle. Company announced plans to purchase approximately 700 additional LNG vehicles and the building of four refueling stations by the end of 2014.(Photo: Business Wire)
"LNG will be a viable alternative transportation fuel for UPS in the next decade as a bridge between traditional fossil fuels and emerging renewable alternative fuels and technologies that are not quite ready for broad-based long-term commercial deployment," said Scott Davis, UPS Chairman and CEO.
UPS has been operating natural gas vehicles for more than a decade. With natural gas prices 30-40 percent lower than imported diesel and U.S. production gearing up, the logistics company is investing more aggressively in the natural gas infrastructure necessary to make it part of the UPS delivery network here. Beyond favorable fuel cost and domestic resource access, the industry cites 25 percent less CO(2) emissions.
Continue reading UPS Ramps Up Natural Gas Investment
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) -- New York state is rolling out first-of-its-kind sensitivity training statewide to help some police officers better identify and interact with people with developmental disabilities.
The First Responders Disability Awareness Training, offered this week in Dutchess County, provides training exercises and protocols on how to assist individuals across the disability spectrum. The Train the Trainer session is open to all in law enforcement, with one stipulation: They must share the course with their police agency.
The training, through Niagara University, is not mandated by the state. However, a council under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office made the course a funding priority and stressed its importance.
"The time has come" for this type of training, said Sheila Carey, executive director of the state Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, which funded the program and extended the initial $650,000 three-year grant through 2015.
Continue reading NY Rolls Out Police Training for Handling Disabled
Only 233 taxis, or 2% of the city's current fleet, are capable of carrying the thousands of New Yorkers and visitors who use wheelchairs to try to get around our city daily.
This is an outrage. It forces disabled passengers to wait many times longer than able-bodied ones, and often to do so in the rain or the cold.
After dozens of failed starts, we finally have the chance to fix this -- by passing City Council legislation that would require all cabs to be replaced with accessible vehicles when they are phased out.
It's an opportunity we must seize.
For years, the industry, the Bloomberg administration and the Taxi and Limousine Commission have given a slew of excuses for why New York City cannot have a completely accessible taxi fleet.
They have blamed the supposed costliness of accessible vehicles, the lack of political support, even at one point floating the absurd hypothesis that accessible cabs would lead to poor tips for drivers.
Continue reading Taxis For All: The Time is Now
TORONTO, April 16, 2013 /CNW/ - On April 16th, 2013 Beck, Co-Op, Royal and Scarborough Taxi companies announced a plan to facilitate equal access to transportation and prevent the charging of extra fees to disabled passengers using wheelchairs.
Alessia Di Virgilio, a frequent user of the service welcomed the plan being put forward by the taxi companies. "I am glad that action is being taken. I was regularly quoted double or triple the fare because I use a wheelchair."
Mr. Spiros Bastas, speaking on behalf of Royal Taxi, commented "We are very committed to ensuring that our customers have equal access to transportation in this city."
The Toronto taxi companies are cooperating in a joint effort to make the following changes:
Asking the City of Toronto to amend the passenger "Bill of Rights" and the "Tariff Notice" posted in taxis to provide additional information about the prohibited fees
Asking the City of Toronto to amend their training program for drivers of accessible taxicabs to include information about the prohibited fees
A posting in all dispatch offices reminding staff about the prohibited fees
A new progressive discipline system that ranges from warnings to termination
Confirmation that disciplinary action has been taken will be sent to passengers who make a complaint
Continue reading Toronto Taxi Companies Clamp Down on Extra Charges for Disabled Passengers