Free Accessible Public Transportation Coming to Kansas City

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Headed to Kansas City, Missouri? The good news is that there’s plenty of wheelchair-accessible public transportation there. And the better news is, soon it will all be free.

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.

 

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UK Supreme Court Weighs in on Buggy vs. Wheelchair Issue

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The UK Supreme Court ruled last month on a pivotal disability rights issue regarding the use of allocated wheelchair spaces on buses. The case stemmed from a 2012 incident in Leeds, where wheelchair-user Doug Paulley tried to board a FirstGroup bus, but a mother with a stroller who was occupying the wheelchair space refused to move. In spite of the signage that clearly states that the seats are reserved for disabled passengers, the driver would only request — not require — that she move. Ultimately Mr. Paulley was left at the curb. Continue reading

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Megabus Expands to Mississippi

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Those of you that know me, know that I’m a huge Megabus fan. I mean, seriously, who can’t get excited about comfortable, affordable and accessible bus transportation across the US? And with fares as low as $1, it really opens up America to a lot more people. Continue reading

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Ho Chi Minh City to Build Accessible Public Transport

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Access is looking up these days in Vietnam, as the powers that be in Ho Chi Minh City have announced that the new metro and monorail systems will be wheelchair-accessible. The last time I visited the city, access was extremely lacking, so I’m happy to hear of any move in a positive direction. Continue reading

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Alarming Story on UK Public Transport

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As I was browsing through the Daily Mail today, one headline immediately caught my eye — “Disabled Terrified to Travel on Public Transport Because of Rising Abuse from Consumers.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading, and initially I thought that it must be some sort of proofing mistake. But as I read the full article, I discovered that sadly, that wasn’t the case. Continue reading

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New Consent Agreement Opens Another Door to Mexico

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I get a lot of questions about access in Mexico. Truth be told, it’s a large country and it pretty much depends on where you go. I have seen some nice accessible hotel rooms south of the border, but the infrastructure is somewhat lacking, especially in regards to accessible transportation. Still if you can go with a sense of adventure and be willing to accept a little help, Mexico may be doable for you.

But what about getting there? Continue reading

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