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03-30-2007: Chevrolet Taxi Van Provides New Yorkers Greater Mobility

First Wheelchair-Accessible Van Approved for Taxi Use Debuts at New York Auto Show NEW YORK – To help celebrate 100 years of the taxi cab in New York City, General Motors is placing into the city’s taxi fleet service the only vans approved to transport individuals with mobility-restricting disabilities or spinal cord injuries.

“General Motors is dedicated to making automotive transportation easier and more accessible for the millions of persons with disabilities,” said John Gaydash, director of marketing for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “With the debut of our new lowered-floor van for taxicabs, we are giving New Yorkers with disabilities a key element in maintaining independence – mobility.”

The taxi van uses a Chevrolet Uplander TC (Taxi Cab) that is modified by GM’s approved upfitter, El Dorado National. A stainless steel floor that is 12 inches lower than the standard floor offers a full 58 inches of interior height without a raised roof.

“By lowering the floor instead of raising the roof we increase accessibility and keep the center of gravity low, which improves the safety of the vehicle,” said Gaydash. “This creates nearly five feet of height in the rear passenger compartment, allowing both able and less able passengers to enter and exit with ease.”

Uplander TC complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Besides public taxi service in New York and elsewhere, the lowered-floor Uplander is designed to be used by airport shuttle services, rehabilitation and extended care facilities, and private livery companies that serve individuals with mobility issues. It meets or exceeds all applicable U.S. and Canadian vehicle safety standards, and is equipped with GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control system.

Other key features include:
  • Optional fold-down, middle-row seat and enhanced rear-seat capacity for optimum passenger load
  • Sturdy manual fold-out ramp has an easy-to-use, swing-out gate feature for quick and clear access for all passengers
  • Safe, commercial-grade non-slip flooring made of skid-resistant durable vinyl
  • High-strength tie-down belt system made by Q'Straint, the industry benchmark for safety, ensures that a wheelchair or motorized chair is securely fastened
GM launched its Mobility Program in 1991 to help provide transportation options to people with disabilities. On Wednesday in New York, Springboard Consulting and Work Life Matters magazine will honor GM for its dedication to the special needs community. For more information on GM’s Mobility program, visit www.gmmobility.com.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world’s largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 76 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 280,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2006, nearly 9.1 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

El Dorado National - Kansas (NYSE: THO) is the home of the Mobility Division of Thor Industries, the nation’s premier manufacturer of commercial and recreational vehicles. www.enconline.com.

Uplander TC (Taxi Cab) Standard Equipment
  • 12-inch lowered floor, stainless steel with undercoating
  • ADA-compliant, 56-inch ramp entry door height
  • 54-inch by 30-inch fold-out, swing-away ramp
  • GM rear axle automatic air suspension system
  • Stainless steel entry threshold / safety yellow
  • Commercial-grade Altro vinyl flooring
  • Transmission / door interlock system
  • ADA safety lighting, entry and exit
  • Manual driver seat / removable footrest
  • Rear heat and A/C conversion
  • Third-row seat modification with LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) child restraint system (GM seats)
  • Grab handles at B- and C-pillar locations
  • Q’Straint system for securing mobility devices in place
  • Interior flat-mounted compact spare tire
  • Backup alarm
  • Auxiliary fuse block for taxi equipment
  • Emergency exit rear hatch release
Uplander TC (Taxi Cab) Optional Equipment
  • NYC taxi package
  • Non-deep tinted glass, all around
  • Bronx partitions taxi shield / window
  • GM six-way power seat base for driver
  • Front co-pilot seat, fixed / footrest
  • Freedman fold-away two-passenger seat
  • All-vinyl seating upgrade
  • Upgraded rear GM coil springs (4,030 pounds)
  • 16-gauge stainless supply line shield
  • 12-guage front engine skid plate
  • “Gator Guard” lower rocker panel treatment
  • Swing-N-Stow taxi ramp / padded cover
  • Rear fan control for passenger heat and A/C
  • Q’Straint “QRT Max” 8300 retractable tie-downs