Position of the Disability Community:
Accessible transportation is vital to the inclusion of people with disabilities in work, school, and community life. People with disabilities have the right to access mass transportation facilities and services. Rural communities especially need resources to improve accessible transportation opportunities.
If public officials want the disability vote:
Support continued development and enforcement of accessible transportation as called for by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The ADA applies to both public and private transportation providers. Our nation’s transportation routes must remain accessible for travelers with disabilities and is a right guaranteed in the ADA. Rider information must be made accessible and all modules must be fully accessible.
Support the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act.
In 2016, passengers filed 32,445 disability-related complaints as reported by 184 domestic and foreign air carriers, which represents a nearly five percent increase over 2015. The two largest complaint areas were “failure to provide assistance” for a wheelchair and “failure to provide other disability assistance.” The Air Carrier Access Amendments Act (H.R. 5004/S. 1318) would increase access to air travel for people with disabilities by improving the accessibility of aircraft and expanding enforcement of air carrier responsibilities to passengers with disabilities. It would also require the Secretary of Transportation to work with stakeholders to develop an Airline Passengers with Disabilities Bill of Rights and create a U.S. Department of Transportation Advisory Committee on the Air Travel Needs of Passengers with Disabilities.
Support inclusion of disability-related provisions in a long-term FAA Reauthorization.
The House’s FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 includes sections that specifically address the concerns of air passengers with disabilities. The bill calls for improvements in the training of airline personnel when meeting the needs of travelers with disabilities. It establishes a Select Subcommittee for Aviation Consumers with Disabilities to the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection. It calls for a study to highlight areas for improvement in airport accessibility and training. Also, it requires the U.S. Access Board and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to investigate the feasibility of in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems for people with disabilities. The Senate’s FAA Reauthorization of 2017 also includes several provisions that will improve the air travel experience of people with disabilities. We need a final FAA Reauthorization this year that includes these and other disability-related provisions.
Support universal design for autonomous vehicles (AV).
Congress must ensure that universal design is applied in the development of AV’s so that ALL people with disabilities can benefit from these technological advances alongside people without disabilities.
Support Amtrak becoming fully accessible.
As mandated by the ADA, Amtrak must ensure accessibility of its trains and stations throughout the U.S. so that all people with disabilities can utilize train travel.
Support holding transportation network companies accountable to the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Transportation network companies (TNCs’ – such as Uber, Lyft, and Via) must provide fully accessible service to people with disabilities including wheelchair users, individuals with service animals, deaf and hard of hearing individuals, and others.
Oppose cuts to the transportation benefit under Medicaid.
A significant number of people with disabilities rely on the Medicaid transportation benefit to get to needed medical appointments. In a 2014 survey of Medicaid users, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that lack of transportation was the third-greatest barrier to care for adults with disabilities, with 12.2% of those patients reporting they could not get a ride to a doctor’s office. There is concern that the federal government will allow a growing number of states to make transportation optional, which will create more obstacles to health care services for people with disabilities.
Support safeguarding funding for transit (including paratransit) and Section 5310, Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and People with Disabilities, programs.
Accessible transportation and ADA complementary paratransit, as well as Section 5310, are often used to provide on-demand accessible taxi services. These critical transportation services for people with disabilities are essential to independent living; their funding must be protected.
Additional Resources and Information:
- Public Policy Agenda for the 115th Congress 2017-2018 – The Arc
- Transportation Issues for People with Disabilities – The Arc
- Autonomous Cars Could Drive Up Opportunities for the Disabled – DMV.org
- Air Carriers’ Disability-Training Programs and the Department of Transportation’s Oversight – Government Accountability Office
- Annual Report on Disability-Related Air Travel Complaints Received During Calendar Year 2016 – Department of Transportation
- NCIL Position Paper: Transportation – National Council on Independent Living
- The ADA and Accessible Ground Transportation – ADA National Network
- Air Carrier Access Act Myths and Facts – Paralyzed Veterans of America
- Transportation – Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
- Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), Also Known as Self-Driving Cars – Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
- Transportation Update: Where We’ve Gone and What We’ve Learned – National Council on Disability
- Self-Driving Cars: Mapping Access to a Technology Revolution – National Council on Disability
The Transportation section of the 2018 REV UP Issues Guide was published on June 25, 2018 and last updated on June 25, 2018. AAPD will do it’s best to keep this guide up-to-date as Executive and Legislative changes happen; however, we recommend double-checking Congress.gov, WhiteHouse.gov, or Google for the latest updates.