5 of the Most Accessible Cities in the United States (11-29-18)

Two pretty young women on handicap scooters. Sisters enjoying their mobility on an afternoon ride through the neighborhood.

According to the most recent statistics, about 12.8 percent of the population in the United States has a disability of some kind. Seniors are especially affected by disability, with 41.4 percent of the disabled population being 65 years of age and older.

Despite the numbers of those with disabilities, the battle for disability rights is still a huge issue. Some disabled people feel the communities in which they live are not doing enough to become more accessible. According to one survey, 20 percent of the respondents living in New York City said they face barriers when trying to access buildings or transportation. There are however, some cities throughout the country that are doing their best to provide access for those with disabilities.  Here are five such cities.

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More Scooter Companies Aim To Break Into The D.C. Market (11-29-18)

The District Department of Transportation is reviewing applications from 12 start-ups looking to operate shared scooters and bicycles in the nation’s capital next year. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

A dozen transportation start-ups are vying for permits to operate shared scooters and bicycles in the nation’s capital next year. If all are approved, the number of companies operating personal mobility services in the District would double, and the devices available for rent could reach 10,000 by spring.

The District Department of Transportation is reviewing applications from 12 companies, including six already operating in the city under an extended pilot program ending this year. Those companies want to be part of an expanded, permanent program that will allow them to enlarge their fleets — though they will be subject to additional fees and regulations.

“We are pleased by the growing interest from companies seeking to expand or launch operations in the District and excited about the potential of these new transportation options for residents and visitors,” said DDOT spokesman Terry Owens.

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A Lot Of Cities Want Roboshuttles, Including D.C. But Will They Work? (11-25-18)

Olli, an automated shuttle, stands outside the offices of Local Motors in National Harbor, Md., on Nov. 20. The vehicles run about 10 mph and are seen as a gateway to greater automation. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

From the Mall to Lincoln, Neb., planners across the United States are pushing slow-rolling roboshuttles as a way to dip their toes into greater automation.

The stubby, bread-box-looking vehicles go about 10 mph, and boosters say they’re a relatively easy and potentially transformative tool for moving people, even as autonomous cars, trucks and minivans continue their development and rollout. Others counsel caution, raising concerns about safety, oversight and economic viability, and fears about adding congestion to roadways and eliminating jobs.

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Wheelchair-Accessible Uber Service Comes To D.C. And Five Other Cities, Expanding Mobility Options For People With Disabilities (11-20-18)

Uber has entered into a contract with MV Transportation, a paratransit firm, to provide service for customers with disabilities. MV will supply drivers and vehicles, while trips will be arranged through the Uber app. (Seth Wenig/AP)

Uber is launching wheelchair-accessible service in the District and five other cities, the company announced this week, pledging a 15-minute wait time for customers with disabilities for fares equivalent to UberX.

The ride-hail giant has entered into a contract with MV Transportation, which calls itself the country’s leading paratransit firm, to provide the service for customers with disabilities. MV will supply drivers and vehicles, while trips will be arranged through the Uber app.

Uber has long been criticized for its lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles, and a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Equal Rights Center in 2017 called out the company for its failure to provide access for passengers in wheelchairs and motorized scooters.

The app has offered an option called Taxi WAV since 2015, allowing customers to hail a ride in a wheelchair-accessible cab — though advocates said it fell short of providing service equivalent to the door-to-door UberX. In a blog post announcing the deal with MV, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company needed to better accommodate customers who use personal mobility devices.

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DC Now Has Crews To Clear Bike Lanes, Wheelchair Cuts After Snow (11-16-18)

WASHINGTON — D.C. is doing something different this season when it comes to snow removal: There’s a new “non-motorized trail” work detail specifically assigned to clearing bike paths, bridge deck sidewalks and ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act at intersections.

To help accomplish that, the city purchased new equipment.

“It’s still a little too wide to do all of the (city’s) bike lanes, but it looks pretty good to do many of them, those that aren’t hemmed in by cars like the cycle track,” said Mary Cheh, chair of D.C. Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment.

Read Full Story Here (via WTOP)