Saturday, February 16, 2008

Accessible Dispatch System - General Introduction

What it is: In November 2007, the TLC approved the Accessible Dispatch System pilot project to try out a central dispatch system for wheelchair accessible vehicles. It is a two-year demonstration (pilot) project. Its purpose is to match passengers who use wheelchairs with accessible vehicles. This project is a chance to test dispatching technology, measure demand for wheelchair accessible vehicles, and determine how to best provide accessible service. During the project, there will be public updates monthly at Commission meetings.

How it works: This system links wheelchair passengers with accessible vehicles through a central dispatcher. Passengers call 311 to request the service. 311 connects the passenger to the dispatcher. The dispatcher collects the passenger's pick-up location and request for service. Then the dispatcher communicates electronically with participating drivers. The closest available driver accepts the dispatch and picks up the passenger.

Who is working on it: The TLC has partnered with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, the Mayor’s Office of Operations, and the Department of Information Technologies and Telecommunications to create this program. Owners of wheelchair accessible vehicles, drivers, and passengers who use the system are crucial to the project.

When: The program will start in spring 2008.
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