You can find a number of different accessible taxi companies in Downtown Chicago. Some of these companies will drive you out to the suburbs but will charge a fare and a half while others will not. At the airport it was easy to catch an accessible taxi in the designated pickup area. An attendant is always waiting to help assist you in catching on or will call a company for you. Just be sure to speak up and tell him or her what you need.
One taxi driver reported that 20% of taxis in Downtown Chicago are wheelchair accessible. Still, it’s a good idea to get the direct cell phone number of a driver in case you get into a jam and the wait is long for an accessible taxi. Every wheelchair accessible taxi I saw had a side loading door, opposed to the rear, and used the Q’Straint 4-Point Securement System to hold a wheelchair in place. If you desire or need a seatbelt to secure your body, speak up, because it was not the norm to add this automatically.
Some wheelchair accessible taxis were the traditional mini vans and others were an MV-1. The original intent of the MV-1 was to be able to transport two wheelchair travelers at once. However, the design was flawed as it created the two chairs to clash together and so, I was told that no taxi driver will agree to transport wheelchair passengers in this matter. However, if one wheelchair user is able to transfer out of his or her wheelchair and into a seat then this can be done. Furthermore, in the three short nights I was in Chicago two out of a few taxis had technical issues with the ramp. One guy did not know how to put the ramp away once out (he could not get it to slide under the passenger door as designed) and another accessible taxi arrived either without a ramp or this guy also did not know how to work it at all. English was sparse and my questions never clearly answered. Despite these two inconvenient experiences, other drivers I had were just delightful and enjoyed our insightful conversations.
Above all other taxis I used during my time in Chicago, FLASH Cab outshined the rest. There seemed to be more accessible taxis with this company because they were the quickest and all the drivers were pleasant and know how to operate the accessible features. Another recommended company is Ac Medtran, which also can take you to and from the airport.
Here is a list of wheelchair accessible taxis that operate in the Downtown Chicago area: