Westchester Lyft Lawsuit Moves Forward

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In what appears to be a move to skirt the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) last month, rideshare giant Lyft claimed once again that it is not in the transportation business, and therefor is not not subject to the ADA. They further alleged that they are instead in the information business. Continue reading

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Excellent Accessible Amsterdam Resource

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amsterdamI’m always on the lookout for good resources for slow walkers and wheelchair-users; but I have to admit I stumbled upon Able Amsterdam (http://www.ableamsterdam.com) quite by accident. Either way, this combination blog and resource page is a must-read if Amsterdam is on your travel radar. Continue reading

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San Francisco Residents Seek Injunctive Relief for Inaccessible Lyft Services

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car in trafficOn the surface it would seem that rideshare services like Lyft would make accessible transportation more available to people with disabilities. But that’s definitely not the case in the San Francisco area, and DRA Legal is trying to do something about it. More specifically they filed a class action lawsuit against Lyft last month, in an effort to compel the company to provide wheelchair-accessible services in the San Francisco area. Continue reading

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E-Scooter Companies Called to Task for Alleged ADA Violation

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Bird Scooters

Bird Scooters

E-scooters are all the rage these day. These compact electric scooters are popping up all over it seems; and startup companies like Bird, Lime and Razor now offer affordable rentals through shared ride smart phone apps. It sounds like a win-win proposition, doesn’t it?

Well, not exactly. Continue reading

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VIA Rail to Upgrade Access in 2018

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Canada’s national rail provider – VIA Rail recently announced that it plans to add more wheelchair tie-downs to their rail cars in 2018. And although this is great news to disability advocates, this access upgrade didn’t come without a battle. A battle that began back in 2016, when Marie Murphy and Martin Anderson traveled from Windsor to Toronto on VIA Rail. Continue reading

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VIA Rail to Upgrade Access in 2018

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Canada’s national rail provider – VIA Rail recently announced that it plans to add more wheelchair tie-downs to their rail cars in 2018. And although this is great news to disability advocates, this access upgrade didn’t come without a battle. A battle that began back in 2016, when Marie Murphy and Martin Anderson traveled from Windsor and Toronto to on VIA Rail.

Both Murphy and Anderson have cerebral palsy and use mobility scooters. Under VIA Rail’s policy at that time, since each rail car only had one tie-down, if there were two passengers with assistive devices, then one passenger had to transfer to a seat and have his assistive device stowed in the luggage car. That’s exactly what Anderson did, but because VIA employees did not disassemble it, it sustained damage. So the pair filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).

They argued that the wheelchair tie-down area is the only risk-free place to transport scooters; and the lack of multiple tie-downs essentially prevents couples from traveling together. They also held that even though the Rail Code only requires one tie-down per car, this minimum standard may not always suffice, and that adding another tie-down would be a reasonable accommodation.

The CTA found in their favor, and ordered VIA Rail to provide multiple tie-downs. That was back in February 2017.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of things. VIA Rail protested the ruling, and held that the installation of additional tie-downs would pose an undue financial hardship on them.

The CTA ruled that additional tie-down areas are a reasonable and financially viable accommodation, especially since VIA Rail’s trains in Western Canada often have three-or four tie-downs.

Ultimately VIA Rail announced in December 2017 that it would comply with the CTA ruling and install multiple tie-downs in all of their rail cars. “Via Rail is committed to providing sustainable, reliable and accessible intercity travel for all Canadians,” company president Yves Desjardins-Siciliano said in a statement. “Thanks to our revised policy, more people with mobility restrictions will be able to travel together.”

This new policy went into effect on January 3, 2018.

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Uber Erects More Accessibility Roadblocks

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Although Uber has long claimed that it’s not bound by the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it just makes common sense to make this service as accessible as possible. In fact, I had high hopes when Uber introduced their new WAV app that allows customers to order an accessible vehicle with a few taps and a swipe or two. And in theory that works; however since Uber doesn’t have enough accessible vehicles to meet the demand, it falls short of a viable solution. Continue reading

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Historic Yosemite Railroad Boasts Excellent Access

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I’ve visited a wide variety of rail attractions over the past 20 years on my accessible travel beat, and I have to say that the folks at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad (www.YMSPRR.com) really wowed me the other day. Continue reading

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