Monday, August 1, 2011

Today’s Video: Taxis for all

Last week we briefly examined the difficulties faced by people with disabilities (PWD) in Latin America. We noted that "some progress" has been made in the region in order to promote the rights of PWD and help grant them much deserved social and economic equality.

Mexico City's ubiquitous green-colored VW Beatle taxis have been gradually phased out in recent years in favor of more modern, environmentally-friendly vehicles. The changes also included a pilot program of pink-colored women-only taxis that was tested last year.

Despite the positive changes to the taxi system in the megalopolis practically nothing has been done to accommodate PWD. None of the more than 250,000 registered cabs could be considered wheelchair accessible though that changed last month. Heriberto Gómez Pérez became the first Mexico City taxi driver with a fully accessible vehicle, a minivan with a hydraulic wheelchair lift. According to the website for El Universal, Gomez spent over 200,000 pesos (over USD $17,000) in order to modify his vehicle.

"I hope (Mexico City mayor Marcelo) Ebard noitces this and pays attention too a segment of the population...that want to be treated with dignity and well-being with their transportation," said Gomez. Hopefully Gomez' initiative will be example for the integration of accessible taxis not only in Mexico but for other major cities of the world.

(Video link via El Universal):

Online Sources - New York Times, The Latin Americanist, Latin America Traveller, Mexipreneur, El Universal
Video Source - YouTube via El Universal

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