ADAPT is angry about the lack of real-time transportation options for people with disabilities who require wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Para-transit may be available for trips scheduled for at least one day in advance. Unfortunately, the Public Utilities Commission has failed to establish any requirements for ride sharing service, such as Uber and Lyft, to meet the needs of wheelchair users unable to transfer into a standard vehicle.
Although Denver has accessible taxi service, in actual practice, it can be very difficult to get a ride. Most of the accessible taxis are booked to provide transportation services for day programs and therefore are not available to general-use riders with disabilities. Although RTD will provide the ride through its Access-A-Ride service when a disabled person is unable to get an accessible cab ride, the disabled individual must wait two or three hours before RTD will assist them.
This violates the rights of wheelchair users with significant disabilities who are unable to secure necessary transportation services that allow them to be integrated in the community.
ADAPT demands that the RTD:
- Increase the budget for Access-A-Ride so that the service can meet the needs of Denver’s Disability Community;
- Reduce the length of time an unserved mobility-disabled cab rider must wait to one hour in order to have Access-A-Ride provide the ride;
- Engage in a public education campaign to inform Denver’s Disability Community that Access-A-Ride will provide a ride for passengers in wheelchairs who cannot get an accessible taxi;
- Create a task force of representatives from the community (including users of the system) to assess Access-A-Ride. The assessment should include operations, funding, new technology, training, and research; and
- Require that cab companies and ride share transportation companies that contract with RTD provide wheelchair accessible transportation in a comparable manner than their standard service services.