Transportation is central to employment and day to day movement. Unfortunately, people with disabilities often face major disadvantages in accessing transportation options, which reduces their ability to find jobs or generally get around.
The issues go way beyond the lack of accessible ramps.
Which are the barriers that countries a front in order to Ending Transportation Barriers for People with Disabilities?
Barriers include poor vehicle design, lack of accessible curbs, crosswalks, and sidewalks, the absence of elevators, and non-existent or inaccessible signage and wayfinding.
There are three main ways of getting around for disabled people who do not drive:
Fixed Route Public Transit
Services for people with disabilities on public buses and rail systems have expanded significantly.
However, there are still several important issues that need to be addressed.
Bus services have improved significantly under the ADA with design features such as low-floor buses with ramps, larger destination signs, floor markings, additional grab bars, audible stop announcements, and monitors that show upcoming stops have greatly enhanced accessibility.
However, many transit agencies still fail to comply with the requirement to announce bus stops, which greatly affects individuals with visual and cognitive disabilities. Some providers rely on automatic stop announcement systems, which often are problematic.
Additionally, problems persist with the maintenance of accessibility equipment such as lifts, and with securing mobility equipment such as wheelchairs and scooters. In some cases, drivers do not stop for people with disabilities. Drivers need more training on securing equipment, calling out stops, and following procedures regarding passengers with disabilities.
Train travel has also improved, yet still imposes certain obstacles. ADA only requires that key stations be made accessible. Key stations include transfer rail stations, major interchange points, stations where passenger boardings exceed average boardings, and stations serving major activity centers.
Requiring only key stations to be made accessible, rather than incrementally making all existing rail stations accessible, has led to gaps in accessibility.
A significant barrier on some rail systems is a lack of elevators or the failure to maintain elevators in working order and to inform riders when they are out of service.
Issues with platform accessibility also continue to deter individuals using mobility assistive devices from accessing rail systems. Overly wide gaps between the train and the platform can be problematic.
Stop announcements for people with visual or cognitive disabilities are often unreliable, when agencies fail to test systems regularly, monitor them closely, and make changes necessary to ensure that they function properly.
Other point to pay attention if we want Ending Transportation Barriers for People with Disabilities
One of the biggest changes under the ADA is the requirement to provide paratransit services in areas where mass transit is available to provide people with disabilities who could not use mass transit with another alternative.
Paratransit is an alternate mode of transportation, most often provided by minibuses, which provides door-to-door shared rides upon request by eligible users.
However, users in many cities experience significant problems with their paratransit systems, including problems with service quality and capacity limitations. Failure of paratransit to show up or to provide effective service not only causes frustration but can also cause missed health appointments and employment problems for those who need to get to work.
Problems with Paratransit services include:
- Restrictive eligibility criteria
- Unfair trip denials
- Tardiness or failure to show
- Slow service en route
- Inefficient and unfriendly telephone reservation systems
- Inaccurate information
- Failure to respond to complaints
- Lack of training for drivers
- Drivers’ lack of respect for users
- Punitive cancellation policies
Private Transportation – Accessible Taxis
A pressing issue in the disability community is the dearth of accessible taxis. Many people with disabilities who cannot drive or afford a car utilize taxi services. Taxis can provide greater flexibility and independence than relying on public transportation systems, especially for those for whom mass transit is either unavailable or inaccessible.
Moreover, taxis can provide a cost-effective alternative to paratransit service.
Alkar Transport is a customer-oriented team with the sole objective of offering the most complete and qualified attention to your transportation needs in Orlando and its surroundings.
We have extensive experience and our innovative team allows us to present a different and fresh perspective to the sector, contact us