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.

Read Full Story Here (via Global News)

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.

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)

If You See Something Say Something (October 2018)

Recently, Mayor Bowser unveiled proposals to make our roads safer for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. These include banning right turn on red at 100 locations, enhancing protections around school zones and intersections near bike lanes, and stiffer penalties for dangerous driving behavior.

As part of the District’s Vision Zero strategy, DFHV Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) will continue outreach and enforcement of bike lane violations and unsafe driving maneuvers by Uber, Lyft, Via, taxi, and limo drivers.

To help with road safety we ask that you tweet or email pictures or videos of alleged violations. If you see something say something – VIOs patrol 24/7 to help reduce traffic-related accidents and fatalities.

Uber-ing With A Child: Site Details Various Seat Laws Around DC, Nation (11-1-18)

The advent of ride-booking services like Lyft and Uber has raised questions about how parents can get around with their little ones safely and legally. (Getty Images/iStockphoto/MementoImage)

WASHINGTON — The advent of ride-booking (or “ride-sharing”) services, such as Lyft and Uber, has revolutionized how people earn money and, of course, how they get from point A to point B.

The answers, unfortunately, are not abundantly clear: Child-restraint guidelines vary nationwide.

“It can be a challenge to figure out what the rules are for transporting kids in a ride-share vehicle, as the laws vary from state to state,” said Justin Owens, a research scientist at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s Center for Vulnerable Road User Safety.

“Where the confusion comes in is that in most of those states, it is unclear whether those laws also include ride-share vehicles — if ride shares are counted as taxis or not.”

Read Full Story Here (via WTOP)

24/7 Uber and Lyft pickup zones coming to D.C. (10-26-18)

The District is launching new pickup and drop-off zones for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

The District is designating curbside space for ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft at locations across the city — an effort to reduce the number of vehicles that stop to pick up and drop off passengers in bike lanes, crosswalks and travel lanes.

The District Department of Transportation is adding the pickup and drop-off zones at five entertainment hot spots where visitors are dependent on the services to get around. Those sites are the nightlife hub of 14th and U streets, the National Zoo and Georgetown in Northwest, the Wharf waterfront development in Southwest and Union Market in Northeast.

The 24-hour-a-day zones will also be used for commercial loading, officials said. They are expected to go live later this year, following a public comment period and the installation of signs.

Read Full Story Here (via The Washington Post)