Power Grid Blog
May 14, 2012 | AAPD Power Grid Blog Team
Independent living and full participation in the community are fundamental aspects of full equality for people with disabilities. Because of inadequate access to transportation, 560,000 of Americans with disabilities never leave their homes. It’s clear that our transportation system is leaving people with disabilities behind.
A new report released by AAPD and The Leadership Conference Education Fund describes the ways that transportation policies have failed people with disabilities:
- Adults with disabilities are twice as likely as those without disabilities to have inadequate transportation (31% to 13%).
- At least 12 million people live in rural counties with no public transportation.
- Many transit systems across the country do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Most taxis remain inaccessible for many people with disabilities, including people who use wheelchairs.
Equal access to transportation means access to jobs, education, community activities, and health care. The shortcomings described above, as well as many others set forth in our report, can be addressed through responsible allocation of transportation funds. For example, funds spent on accessible public transportation, communities build around transit, upgrading existing systems, and paratransit access – particularly in rural communities-- will help to close the gap in transportation access. For decades, we have invested disproportionately in new highway funding, which has left many people with disabilities behind. When our transportation policy strands 560,000 people at home, it’s time for a change.
As Congress considers surface transportation funding legislation, people with disabilities and our allies are pushing for more accessible options. For more information about transportation equity, see our transportation page: http://www.aapd.com/what-we-do/transportation/