SECTION 1. Chapter 6C of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
76. (a) As used in this section, "accessible taxicab" shall mean any vehicle that:
(1) is equipped with a lift, ramp, or any other device, arrangement or alteration, so it is capable of transporting persons with physical disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs, scooters and similar devices while they remain seated in their wheelchairs, scooters or similar devices;
(2) complies with the specifications set forth in regulations promulgated under the Americans with Disabilities Act and codified in sections 38.23, 38.25 and 38.31 of title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, whether or not those regulations would apply under federal law;
(3) is equipped with an assistive listening system for persons with hearing impairment that is connected with any intercom, video or audio system, when such a system is installed;
(4) assures that the technology utilized by taxicabs is compliant with the standards promulgated by the commissioner of transportation; provided that a local authority with oversight over taxicabs, limousines and livery vehicles may conduct pilot programs testing new systems;
(5) complies with federal regulations promulgated pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act applicable to vans under 22 feet in length, by the federal Department of Transportation, in Code of Federal Regulations, title 49, parts 37 and 38, and by the federal Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, in Code of Federal Regulations, title 36, sections 1192.23 et seq., and the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, Code of Federal Regulations, title 49, part 571, that is hacked-up, as that term is defined in section 3-01(a) of this chapter, to an accessible medallion or any other medallion on or after June 25, 2021; or
(6) complies with this section; provided, however, that the rear bumper has been cut or otherwise modified to allow the installation of a rear entry ramp for wheelchair access, shall nonetheless be approved for hack-up as an accessible taxicab if:
(i) the rear bumper is reinforced and the rear bumper modification is approved by the original equipment manufacturer;
(ii) the vehicle modifications meet or exceed any applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards crash testing requirements; and
(iii) If the rear door lock mechanism of the vehicle is modified, the modification must meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and the lock mechanism must be affixed to the vehicle chassis, not the ramp assembly, unless a secondary lock is provided that is affixed to the vehicle chassis.
(b) Any person with a hackney license issued pursuant to section 22 of chapter 40 shall have at least 1 accessible taxicab.
SECTION 2. The secretary of transportation shall promulgate any rules, regulations and standards necessary to give effect of the provisions of this act, including, but not limited to rules, regulations and standards concerning the standardization of assistive listening technology available in taxicabs and the content of signs available in taxicabs to visually impaired persons.
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