National Council on Disability Releases Transportation Access and Policy Report

National News
Summer 2015

The report picks up ten years after NCD’s 2005 publication of “The Current State of Transportation for People with Disabilities in the United States”, which led to major improvements in accessible transportation.

The report was released on May 4, 2015 and is titled “Transportation Update: Where We’ve Gone and What We’ve Learned”.  It outlines the progress that has been made in the last decade and details the barriers that remain.

Among the findings:

Taxi Alternatives: Emerging transportation models like Uber, SideCar, and Lyft have vigorously resisted regulations typically imposed on the taxicab sector, harming the taxi industry and evading requirements that serve the public interest, including deficits in service to people with disabilities. Uber openly claims it is not covered by the ADA.
Fixed Route Buses: Ridership of fixed route bus transit and rail systems by people with disabilities has grown far faster than ridership on ADA paratransit.
Paratransit: There have been great gains in best practices in the areas of eligibility, telephone hold time, on-time performance, no-show policies, and origin-to-destination service, but they are often not implemented.
Rural Transportation: Minimal or non-existent transit service in rural and remote areas still creates serious barriers to employment, accessible health care, and full participation in society.
Rail Transit: Amtrak has lagged behind in meeting ADA requirements for its stations, platforms, train cars, reservations practices, and communications access.
Best practices: Oregon, Iowa, and Maine provide examples of positive coordination of transportation programs for people with disabilities.  Many cities still lack adequate wheelchair accessible taxi programs, despite progress in some locations, including Chicago, New York City, and Rhode Island.

The full report is available for free download on NCD’s website at http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2015/05042015/