A New Year’s Day Baby

We were so happy to learn on New Year’s Day that the first baby born in New York City in 2018 is the daughter of a cab driver. Kazi Ariana Shirin came into the world at 12:01 a.m. in the Flushing Hospital Medical Center, following 36 hours of labor, according to a report in the Daily News. Her father, Imran Nazir, is a taxi driver who lives in Jamaica, Queen, and is originally from Bangladesh.

“I am so excited for our new year baby,” said the mother, Tania Shirin, to the Daily News.

We wish this beautiful family a very joyful 2018, and congratulate them on this happy new chapter in their lives.

Citywide Accessible Dispatch

Accessible Dispatch has been an important service for many New Yorkers, as well as visitors to our City, since it first launched in 2012. The program connects passengers with wheelchair-accessible taxicabs when they put in a request via a phone call to 311 or to 646.599.9999, the

Accessible Dispatch app, or at the website www.accessibledispatch.org.

At the time of writing this column, we anticipate having announced in January the full launch of our citywide Accessible Dispatch Program, following its beta launch in the fall. Whether you need a taxi in Dongan Hills, Kew Gardens, Mott Haven or Hell’s Kitchen, you can request a wheelchair-accessible cab with the method that is most convenient for you.

If you drive a wheelchair-accessible taxi, you can also make more money by enrolling in the program. You will receive the standard metered fare and an additional dispatch payment for traveling to take an Accessible Dispatch trip, which is separate from any money you receive through the Taxi Improvement Fund.

I also want to note the significant rise in the number of wheelchair-accessible yellow and green taxis on the road, and thank the industry for their hard work in making our city more equitable. The number of yellow wheelchair-accessible taxis has grown from 231 in 2013 to more than 2000 on the road now. There are also more than 250 wheelchair-accessible green taxis on the road as well. The significant growth in accessible taxicabs play a crucial role in making our Accessible Dispatch program successful, especially in serving New Yorkers at a citywide level.

City Council

Last month, the City Council announced its leadership assignments for the next four-year term. Congratulations to Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez for chairing the Committee on Transportation, and Council Member Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. for chairing the Committee on For-Hire Vehicles. We look forward to working with you both.

As always, drive like your family lives here!

Article by Meera Joshi

Meera Joshi is the Chair/Commissioner for the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

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