July 18, 2012

Chicago Green Taxi Grant Program

CHICAGO - The City of Chicago Green Taxi Grant Program was a 1 year federally funded initiative that was begun on Earth Day 2011 to help the local taxi industry purchase cost-effective hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles. and to help the city move closer to the carbon emission goals set out in the Chicago Climate Action Plan. Now ended, the Green Taxi Grant Program has resulted in 49 new hybrids and 71 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles added to Chicago's taxi fleet.

VIDEO: Green Taxi Program


Ayo Maat said...

It is unfortunate that the City of Chicago has discriminated against persons who use wheelchairs by allowing the green wheelchair taxis to skip picking us up to go instead to airports to pick up business persons and others who are not in wheelchairs nor have mobility limitations over wheelchair customers, causing us to miss healthcare, caregivers, meal and medicine times; they refuse to pick up persons in wheelchairs whether paying cash, using TAP, credit card or Mobility Direct. They used federal funds to discriminate against persons who use wheelchairs in violation of Section 504 of the Rehab Act (which can cancel federal funds if agencies discriminate), ADA, city ordinance enforced by the city Commission on Human Relations, IL Atty General's Disability Rights Bureau, Cook County Dept. of Human Rights, and Illinois Dept. of Human Rights; also deceived us by saying that we would be given priority service subscription trips such as Mobility Direct, which are scheduled by Pace Paratransit!! Instead, we either never get picked up or wait as long as 2 1/2 - 3 hours to be picked up even on subscription trips such as Mobility Direct. It is outrageous; it shows the inhumanity of the drivers except the few like 1803, 2403, 3076, 3728, 549 (who used to drive a wheelchair van for Chicago Carriage—he stopped due to high lease costs) et al who do pick us up when others refuse, and a few others whose numbers escape my memory, plus these who have picked me up once or twice: 874, 4217, 6898. It is cruel to leave us stranded like this; and some drivers seem to prefer to pick up men instead of women--more discrimination.
I ride 5 days a week and can't get picked up to get to church 2x a week or health trips 3x a week and back without Flash literally begging drivers to pick me up!! I have been very supportive of drivers, waiting as long as 3 hours on a cash trip and 2 1/2 hours on a Mobility Direct trip; a few staff or drivers at Chicago Carriage called me out of my name last year for reporting them. Is it lack of professionalism and greed back of these actions? Why is the city penalizing PWD’s, seniors,and women? The higher leases from owners is not our business nor our fault. Drivers need to get their own vehicles. The city can help them. Why aren't you giving medallions to those above, esp. 1803 - Tarig Kamill--who has come all the way from Oak Lawn many a time to pick me and others up north, west and south? He picked up 8 wheelchairs, had to do 7 trips one evening in July 2012 to take 8 paralympic team members who had been waiting awhile for taxis to their hotel from Midway Airport while a line of wheelchair taxis just sat there and looked at this paralympic team and refused to take their trips! The Commissioner of Business and Consumer Affairs does nothing about this!! The fares get raised and drivers still do not pick up wheelchair clients. Not right!! Unfair!! It does not require divine intervention--it's simple--hold the drivers accountable, so they stop stranding persons who are disabled; give extra incentives other than airport vouchers (Tarig has enough to supply the whole fleet), and hold the owners accountable, so drivers are not paying such high leases and late fees when they take our orders and can't get the taxi back to base. Start fining drivers who don't pick up any wheelchair customers or just give drivers who do, extra money or incentives. btw, since the strike ended, wheelchair customers have even worse service. This is no longer the city of Big Shoulders, but the city that has bumped people in wheelchairs from its shoulders.

Webmaster said...

Thank you for taking the time to write Dr. Maat. The point you made concerning federal funding and Section 504 of the Rehab Act is a good one. The wait times and poor treatment you describe sound particularly bad. As I see more and more paratransit and medicaid transportation programs turning to taxis as the solution to their budget problems, I feel that the taxi industry as a whole is ill equipped for this new role. Measures such as you suggested to insure quality of service have to be implemented and enforced, as well as requiring specialized training for drivers. Thank goodness there are those drivers, like the ones you mentioned that go out of their way to help