The Town of North Hempstead has partnered with local taxi companies to offer free and discounted taxi rides to residents with disabilities.
This is an expansion of the Project Independence transportation program, which was originally implemented in 2009 to offer seniors discounted or free taxi trips. Beginning this month, residents older than 21 with a disability will be eligible for free taxi rides for grocery shopping and discounted taxi rides for medical appointments. These programs are funded in part from the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council New Freedom Funds via the New York State Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration.
“The town, along with our Disability Advisory Committee, is always looking for new ways to reach out and assist our residents with disabilities,” said Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “Together we came up with the idea to expand our taxi ride program. We hope that by including residents with disabilities we will be able to better assist our residents.”
Larry Greenstein, a Disabilities Advisory Committee member from Port Washington, said, “I am proud to live in a town that recognizes the transportation challenges that many people with disabilities face and has found a cost-effective way to support them. I applaud Supervisor Bosworth and the town board for taking this step in helping people with disabilities live dignified, self-directed lives in the community.”
To be approved, residents with disabilities would provide a copy/picture of an Able-Ride or Access-A-Ride card, or a letter that shows acceptance in one of these services. Able Ride provides accessible service for destinations in Long Island and Access-A-Ride provides service to New York City. Once registered, residents may reserve a taxi by calling 311 or 516-869-6311 at least one day in advance. Residents looking to utilize this service must be able to ride in a taxi, and if traveling with a wheelchair or walker, it must be able to fold and fit in the trunk.