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.
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 apphas 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.
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.
Even though over six billion people—nearly one billion of whom will have disabilities— are expected to live in urban centers by 2050, many of the world’s major urban cities have a long way to go before their infrastructure becomes inclusive for people with disabilities.
Parker said it is getting harder for elderly people — especially those with significant others who may be around the same age — to get to medical appointments or hospitals. “It’s much easier to put him in a ride-share and for [his wife] to assist him,” he said.
As the population ages and the demand for healthcare rises, the future of medical transportation is in ride-sharing services, experts say. Such arrangements will be a topic of conversation at Bisnow’s National Healthcare West event June 7 at the JW Marriott in Los Angeles. Though there is a huge demand to develop medical facilities around public transportation stops, not enough healthcare providers are doing it yet, Parker said.
And living in car-centric Los Angeles, Parker said people still prefer using cars rather than public transportation, especially for a medical appointment or a minor procedure. “There’s an Orange [bus] line here that takes people all over the Valley but we’re not seeing any medical facilities being built around that line,” he said. “We haven’t seen that kind of development.” Missed appointments cost the healthcare industry $150B each year, according to several healthcare reports. The reasons for the no-shows vary — mostly from the patient side, such as forgotten appointments due to too much time between visits, a distrust of seeing a doctor, cost and other reasons.
But one of the single biggest reasons is lack of transportation.