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DISTRICT BRIEFING

DISTRICT BRIEFING

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Friday, April 4, 2008

POWER OUTAGE

Fire Knocks Out Electricity in Northwest

A fire in a manhole in the 1100 block of H Street NW last night knocked out power to almost 500 homes and businesses, a spokesman for Pepco said.

About 330 residential customers and 150 commercial customers were expected to be in the dark for at least several hours, according to the company. The cause of the fire was unclear.

-- Susan Levine

TAXIS

City Pushing for Wheelchair-Accessible Cabs

The D.C. Taxicab Commission is seeking applicants for about $200,000 in grant funds to help bring wheelchair-accessible cabs to the District. Washington is one of the few major U.S. cities that does not offer such service.

The money was authorized last year in legislation sponsored by D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1). It is intended to help applicants meet the funding match required for federal funding under the Metropolitan Council of Governments' New Freedom program, which tries to improve transportation services for disabled people.

Eve Hill, director of the D.C. Office of Disability Rights, said there is a large, unmet demand for wheelchair-accessible cabs.

"We are behind other cities in assuring wheelchair-accessible taxis, and it really is about freedom," she said yesterday.

Currently, residents with disabilities must rely on Metro rail and bus service, and on accessible-van services that require reservations and have eligibility restrictions, she said. A wheelchair-accessible cab would work like a traditional cab does, she said, with no prior reservations or restrictions.


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