It is hard to imagine a life where you can’t simply leave whenever you want or go wherever you please, but many people face that challenge every day. The amount of days people with disabilities leave their home a week is significantly lower than the amount of days the non disabled leave home.
**Please click on graphs to enlarge them**
Along with staying home more than those without disabilities, people with disabilities have a more difficult time getting the transportation they need when they need it.
There are hundreds of thousands of Paratransit users in the United States, but the system is still flawed. The estimated wait time can be longer than they say, and customer send complaints to RTC regarding drivers and their experiences while using Paratransit.
A program as large as RTC Access and Paratransit should be more user friendly, reliable, and enjoyable. Because of the procedures adopted by RTC, I believe newer companies will be the next generation of transportation for those with disabilities.
I hope these simple statistics help illustrate how inefficient (and unfair) our current transportation system is for those with disabilities.
** all information is from:
Paratransit Peer Report – January 2011
RTC Access Paratransit Operating Statistics
Bureau of Transportation Statistics: Freedom to Travel
New means of transportation, such as Uber (a new company that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services), Lyft, and Sidecar, are becoming more popular in large cities. These new services make accessing transpiration easier for the majority of the population, and is a promising start for those with disabilities if it is executed properly.
The current dilemma is whether or not these new vehicles will be accessible to those with disabilities, especially individuals needing wheelchairs. Having a wheelchair accessible vehicle generally costs more for the driver in fuel and maintenance, thus turning drivers away from ADA accessible vans. These new companies were presented with questions on how they were going to make their vehicles and their company more accessible in general.
Some of these new companies talked about partnering with exiting companies that have the required vehicles, while others described giving drivers financial incentives to purchase and drive wheelchair accessible vehicles. I believe these companies are on the right track, but I think it will be a long time before they become completely successful in helping transport those with disabilities.
What is Paratransit? Who is eligible to ride? How can you make an appointment? Southern Nevada RTC describes what Paratransit is and how simple it is to make an appointment to ride.