Last week, the Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) filed a lawsuit against Lyft in California for not having any wheelchair-accessible vehicles in the San Francisco Bay Area. By not having the adequately equipped vehicles to accommodate passengers in wheelchairs, Lyft is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
However, this is far from being the only case that transportation has been made inaccessible to people with disabilities, nor is California the only state with this problem.
For example, in New York City, only 112 of MTA’s 472 subway stations are accessible, and out of those, 100 are currently working in both directions. Additionally, less than 1,800 of the city’s 13,000+ yellow cabs are equipped with wheelchair lifts or ramps, which means less than 15% of the taxis are accessible to New Yorkers with mobility difficulties.
However, as we approach a new era of transportation, notably driverless cars, it is crucial to keep the issue of accessibility at the forefront of our minds.
Life as a pedestrian, cyclist, or scootist in the Washington region can be a harrowing experience. Vehicles blocking crosswalks or standing in bike lanes are commonplace occurrences that put everyone at risk—especially those of us not protected by two tons of steel.
A team of professors and students were crowned the winners of D.C.’s first public innovation competition last week for developing a traffic safety app.
The team won $25,000 in startup research funds as part of the inaugural GigabitDCx competition, which challenged innovators to submit technological solutions to confront city mobility and environmental issues. Members of the winning team said their submission, called Road Vision, will help individuals analyze and predict traffic collision and congestion patterns on their travel routes.
The technology analyzes traffic patterns from videos of roadways to “characterize and predict” traffic patterns, including road congestion, accidents and traffic from pedestrians, cyclists and scooters, according to the team’s submission page.
Members of the team said the technology will rely on data from traffic cameras as well as public input. Users can submit videos of roadways using a free app and view real-time analysis and traffic predictions.
Metro would subsidize an Uber, Lyft or other on-demand trip for late-night workers under a plan the agency is proposing to the ride-hail services.
The subsidized trips — up to $3 per ride — are meant to make up for the loss of late-night service but would be available only to workers, not people out enjoying entertainment or events.
Metro, which has been criticized by riders and D.C. officials for wanting to extend its moratorium on late-night service another year and use the extra time to catch up on maintenance, is expected to issue a request for proposals soon that will outline its goals for the estimated $1 million program.