Last month New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) highlighted their recent access improvements and reaffirmed their commitment to make public transportation more accessible to everyone. At a Coney Island celebration on the 31st anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo proclaimed, “My mission at the MTA is showing that accessibility and equity are one and the same.” Continue reading
Martín Londoño is a man with a plan. As a wheelchair-user he long admired the electric handcycles made by Batec (a Spanish company), but they also came with a hefty price tag. So he set out to make a more affordable model that people in his native Columbia could buy. Continue reading
There’s been a lot of chatter about a proposed rule released last month by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Press releases were distributed to the media about the proposed changes, which resulted in a glut of editorial coverage. Unfortunately many of the people who wrote about the proposed changes were unfamiliar with the existing ADA regulations for rental cars. As a result, headlines like “New ADA Rules Will Make Rental Cars More Accessible” began to appear.
And those headlines are rather misleading. Continue reading
One of the biggest roadblocks to accessible public transportation in the Big Apple is the lack of elevators in the subway system, which was largely constructed before the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) was on the books. With that in mind the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) recently announced a new accessibility project that will add 17 new elevators in eight stations. Continue reading
Under the terms of a settlement agreement reached in December 2020 between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Amtrak, disabled passengers who traveled or tried to travel on Amtrak may be entitled to compensation. Specifically, passengers who traveled or tried to travel to or from one of 78 inaccessible Amtrak stations as far back as July 27, 2013 may be eligible for a piece of the $2.25 million compensation fund. You can apply for compensation at https://amtrakdisabilitysettlement.com. Continue reading
The US Access Board recently announced that they will be updating the access guidelines for rail cars. To that end they are seeking public comments on the issue. The regulations, which were last updated in 1991, apply to rail cars used in rapid, light, commuter and intercity rail systems. Continue reading
I get a lot of e-mails about access failures, and unfortunately in this day and age these things still happen. Why? Well part of the reason is that even though we have access laws on the books, we don’t have any entity that goes around and inspects facilities for compliance. And even if we did, there are some things – like providing reasonable accommodations – that you really can’t inspect. Continue reading
Edited to Add – The link to the placard does not work any more (and I have removed it), so it looks like Amazon took down the item for sale. Thanks everyone for their great response!!!
OK I’m a huge Amazon fan, but after finding this “Handicap Placard” for sale on the site I may have to think twice about continuing my relationship. It has absolutely no description, and the five-star reviews are obviously fake (“great customer service” — give me a break). The questions have been answered by consumers who obviously agree with me, and a few wheelchair-users wrote negative comments. Continue reading
Super Shuttle – which once provided accessible and affordable airport transfers – abruptly closed it’s doors for good on December 31, 2019. And that closure left a lot of wheelchair-users scratching their heads and trying to find a suitable replacement for airport pick-ups and drop-offs. Although there’s not a suitable across the board replacement, these suggestions may help you sort out the issue on an airport-by-airport basis. Continue reading
Earlier this month the city council passed a resolution the directed the City Manager to include a funding request in the fiscal year budget, to make Zero-Fare Transit a reality. This plan is a priority of the newly elected mayor Quinton Lucas, who was endorsed by the Kansas City Transportation Authority. So it seems everyone is on board with the proposal
To be fair, the KC Streetcar (http://kcstreetcar.org/) has been fare-free since it’s inception. It also boasts excellent access, as it has a very inclusive design. There is level boarding at all streetcar stops, with priority seating for wheelchairs near the door. The streetcar runs a two mile route through the downtown area, from Union Station to the River North Market Loop. Stops along the way include Crossroads, Kauffman Center, Power & Light, Metro Center and the library. Additionally, riders can transfer to a Ride KC Bus at Union Station, Crossroads and River Market North.
The Ride KC Bus (https://ridekc.org/) system will probably be most impacted by the new fare-free resolution, as currently bus fares are $1.50 per ride. As with the streetcar, all of the buses are wheelchair-accessible, and they either have lifts or ramps, with wheelchair-seating in front.
Kudos to Kansas City for being the first US city to implement this system-wide free fare scheme. It’s a great way for visitors get around, and soon it will be easier on the wallet too.