All for-hire vehicle (FHV) bases licensed by the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) are required to provide equivalent service to passengers who request a wheelchair accessible vehicle. The TLC has two options for bases to provide equivalent service, the Trip Mandate, and the Central Dispatch Exception.
These rules require that bases work with owners and drivers of WAV vehicles to service trips. Learn more about the requirements for licensed vehicle owners and drivers below:
What kind of vehicle counts as wheelchair accessible?
Any vehicle that is licensed as an FHV and has passed the TLC’s wheelchair accessible vehicle inspection. You can find the requirements on the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Evaluation Information Sheet.
There is no restriction on specific model and type of the vehicle, but you may review the list of vehicles approved as taxicabs on the Yellow Cab Hack-Up Page for your reference.
Do I have to buy a wheelchair accessible vehicle when I apply for a new vehicle license? To renew my vehicle license?
The TLC requires that all new FHV licenses be either a wheelchair accessible vehicle or an electric vehicle. You can find more information regarding this requirement on the Get a For-Hire Vehicle License Page.
Renewals are not subject to this requirement.
Are there financial incentives to own or drive WAVs?
The TLC does not provide any financial incentives to own or drive FHV WAVs. Street-hail livery, also known as green taxi-cabs or Boro taxicabs, may be eligible for financial incentives. Review the Green Taxi Accessibility Page for more details.
If I drive a WAV, will all my trips be for passengers who use wheelchairs?
No, you may still serve passengers who do not use wheelchairs. Bases may dispatch any trip to a WAV and may use WAVs to service trip requests from passengers who did not request one.
How will I know if I am dispatched a trip for a passenger who uses a wheelchair?
Each base decides what information to communicate to the driver when the trip is dispatched. However, if you drive WAV, you and your vehicle should be ready to transport passengers using a wheelchair whenever you are on the road.
Can other bases send me trips if I drive a WAV?
Yes, bases of any class (livery, black car, and luxury limousine) may dispatch trips to any class of FHV vehicle if it is a WAV. For example, if you drive a green taxi WAV, you can accept trips from a black car base. You do not need a formal agreement with a base to accept trips.
Can I charge more for WAV trips?
No, you cannot charge more for WAV trips. Doing so is in violation of TLC rules. If you suspect that a base is overcharging for WAV trips, contact 311.
My base told me that it’s a TLC requirement that in order to affiliate with a base I must use a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Is that correct?
The TLC does not require any current licensee to replace a licensed vehicle with a wheelchair accessible vehicle. The decision as to whether or not to put a wheelchair accessible vehicle on an existing TLC vehicle license is yours alone. Drivers may also choose to lease any currently licensed vehicle. As of August 14, 2018, the TLC will issue new FHV vehicle licenses only to Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles during a one-year pause on FHV licensing. Read our 14 August 2018 Press Release No new FHV vehicle licenses for one year and WAV license fee changes (PDF) for more details on this licensing change.
Bases may affiliate any licensed vehicle, and may make their own decisions about which vehicles, WAV and non-WAV, to affiliate. If you cannot come to an arrangement that works for you and your base, you can change your base by submitting an application for a transfer of affiliation to the TLC.
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