HARRISBURG, June 30, 2012 –  State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione today praised passage of a bill that will put more wheelchair-accessible taxis on the streets of Philadelphia.

House Bill 2390 expands the number of taxicab medallions issued by the Philadelphia Parking Authority to allow for a growing fleet of vehicles that can be used by riders who can remain in their wheelchairs.

“This bill takes a prudent and careful step toward making Philadelphia’s transportation system more accessible,” Tartaglione said.  “It means progress that will be monitored and measured as it moves forward.”

Under the bill, the authority will issue 15 new taxicab medallions each year until the maximum number available expands from 1,600 to 1,750.

The bill also establishes a wheelchair-accessible taxicab driver training program for the city.  A driver who completes the training will receive a $50 stipend for each full day of training attended or an amount that the authority decides on by order or regulation. 

“By transforming the cab fleet over time, Philadelphia’s disabled community will have a chance to assess the changes and provide feedback,” Tartaglione said. “The transformation will be expensive and we have to make sure we do it right.”

The issue will be the subject of a hearing by the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee within six months, Tartaglione said.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.