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.
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
I’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
On 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
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
I’ve had no shortage of complaints about access on the NYC subway system — and for good cause, as currently only 118 out of 472 stations are wheelchair-accessible. But that’s all set to change in a big way in the coming months, thanks to a new program and a new accessibility chief. Continue reading
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
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.
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