Judge formally approves deal to improve New York City taxi access for people with disabilities

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NEW YORK — Citing a historic baseball moment, a federal judge has formally approved a deal making at least half of New York City's taxi fleet wheelchair-accessible by 2020.

Judge George Daniels approved the deal Tuesday. He said the plan to make taxis accessible to people with disabilities was one of the most significant acts of inclusion in the city since baseball great Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. The judge said the deal makes New York a better city.

The agreement reached last year settles a lawsuit brought in 2011 by advocacy groups. It came at a time when only about 200 of the city's more than 13,000 yellow cabs were outfitted to accommodate wheelchairs.

Some wheelchair users said in a news release that accessible taxis will greatly improve their lives.

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