If you've been following the story of the New York Taxi Commission's selection of the Nissan NV200 as its chosen "Taxi of Tomorrow," you might also remember that New York City comptroller John Liu raised objections to the city not having a 100-percent wheelchair-accessible taxi fleet. While various departments and commissions within the city are hashing out the legalities and requirements, Nissan has unveiled its answer to the issue in the form of its wheelchair-accessible package for the NV200.
Working with Indiana-based BraunAbility, the specially outfitted NV200 features a rear-mounted manual ramp that folds down to provide access to the passenger compartment. To accommodate a wheelchair, the driver folds the second-row seat forward, lowers the rear ramp, and once the wheelchair passenger is in the vehicle, secures the wheelchair with front and rear tie-downs, and a lap and shoulder belt.
The ramp meets or exceeds all Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, with a 30-inch width and 800-pound weight capacity. There are an estimated 60,000 New York City residents in wheelchairs, and plans are to create 2000 additional wheelchair-accessible medallion licenses. Currently, fewer than 300 out of New York's approximately 13,000 taxis are wheelchair-accessible.