Arguing that the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) was overstepping its authority in setting accessibility requirements – and that their businesses would be devastated – a Coalition of Black Car and Livery operators sought an injunction to block rules requiring a certain percentage of the rides they dispatch be provided in Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs). The Coalition had argued that the mandate would cost them between $250 million and $300 million in the first year alone, ultimately putting them out of business.

In April, U.S. district court Judge John Koeltl denied the motion, writing that it did not meet the two requirements for a preliminary injunction: the likelihood that the plaintiffs would eventually prevail in court and that they would be irreparably harmed in the meantime.

Uber, Lyft and Via together filed a separate suit, in state court, to annul the TLC’s WAV rules.

In the meantime, three vendors – Uber, Lyft and Carmel Car & Limousine – were approved by the TLC to launch an “alternative” pilot program that uses a centralized dispatch system to provide WAVs to those who need them.

Starting in July, bases will have the option of providing WAVs to customers through one of the three central dispatching systems or following the TLC’s option of dispatching 5% of all trips in WAVs, whether the customer requests one or not (that number increases incrementally to 25% over the course of several years).

            Source: Crain’s New York Business

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