To help celebrate 100 years of the taxi cab in New York City, General Motors is placing into the city’s taxi fleet service the only vans approved to transport individuals with mobility-restricting disabilities or spinal cord injuries.
“General Motors is dedicated to making automotive transportation easier and more accessible for the millions of persons with disabilities,” said John Gaydash, director of marketing for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “With the debut of our new lowered-floor van for taxicabs, we are giving New Yorkers with disabilities a key element in maintaining independence – mobility.”
The taxi van uses a Chevrolet Uplander TC (Taxi Cab) that is modified by GM’s approved upfitter, El Dorado National. A stainless steel floor that is 12 inches lower than the standard floor offers a full 58 inches of interior height without a raised roof.
“By lowering the floor instead of raising the roof we increase accessibility and keep the center of gravity low, which improves the safety of the vehicle,” said Gaydash. “This creates nearly five feet of height in the rear passenger compartment, allowing both able and less able passengers to enter and exit with ease.”
Uplander TC complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Besides public taxi service in New York and elsewhere, the lowered-floor Uplander is designed to be used by airport shuttle services, rehabilitation and extended care facilities, and private livery companies that serve individuals with mobility issues. It meets or exceeds all applicable U.S. and Canadian vehicle safety standards, and is equipped with GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control system.
Other key features include:
· Optional fold-down, middle-row seat and enhanced rear-seat capacity for optimum passenger load
· Sturdy manual fold-out ramp has an easy-to-use, swing-out gate feature for quick and clear access for all passengers
· Safe, commercial-grade non-slip flooring made of skid-resistant durable vinyl
· High-strength tie-down belt system made by Q'Straint, the industry benchmark for safety, ensures that a wheelchair or motorized chair is securely fastened
GM launched its Mobility Program in 1991 to help provide transportation options to people with disabilities. On Wednesday in New York, Springboard Consulting and Work Life Matters magazine will honor GM for its dedication to the special needs community. For more information on GM’s Mobility program, visit www.gmmobility.com.