Despite lawsuits and many unhappy handicapped people the city of New York has spent more than a year trying to make everyone okay with the so-called "Taxi of Tomorrow" that is supposed to hit the streets next fall. But it just doesn't seem to stick. Today Comptroller John Liu fired his second volley against the Nissan NV200 by rejecting the city's contract for it. But the Bloomberg administration doesn't think he's allowed to do that.

"City Hall’s refusal to provide wheelchair-accessible cabs to people with disabilities is inexplicable and we believe it violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)," Liu said today. "We should not go ahead with a so-called Taxi of Tomorrow that perpetuates a shamefully separate and unequal cab fleet for another decade." As such, Liu has written to Bloomberg to say he won't register the Taxi of Tomorrow agreement "on the grounds that it may not only violate the civil rights of wheelchair users, but also puts the City at significant risk of lawsuits."

And Liu is not in the political wilderness on this one. His concerns have been shared by a number of Assembly and City Council members. But the Bloomberg administration just doesn't care, and anyway says that Liu isn't allowed to not register the contract:

The City Charter gives the comptroller no authority whatsoever here, but his disregard for the law in this area is nothing new,” said Julie Wood, deputy press secretary for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “We selected Nissan because they will make the safest and most rider-friendly vehicle. It’s still unclear why the comptroller opposes giving New Yorkers the best taxi ever, but a press conference based on false allegations isn’t going to matter, and the contract will go forward.”

The Taxi of Tomorrow has been a major push for Bloomberg administration After a widely publicized search Mayor Bloomberg picked the NV200 last year over other actually handicap accessible options, hailing the cab as the future of travel in the city. After all it will have USB ports, a quieter horn and a sky roof when it hits the streets next October! But the announcement has since been roundly criticized for forcing handicapped New Yorkers to use a separate-but-not-quite-equal dial-a-cab service to access the one percent of TLC cabs that are handicap accessible. If any of this will actually stop the cab from coming to town remains a very open question.