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Accessible Cabs Would Make a ‘Major Difference’ in Halifax

By: Stephen Wentzell
July 24, 2021

An accessible taxi-style service could soon be making its way to the Halifax Regional Municipality.

A new survey, launched Thursday, is looking for public feedback on a potential program anticipated to begin operations by the end of 2021. The municipality says survey responses will help inform the framework for how the service will operate.

The private, on-demand program would require the municipality to pay a fee to the contracted company to provide an accessible taxi-style service, while users will pay the standard rate for cab rides.

For disability rights activist, Vicky Levack, the program would make a major difference in her life.

‘You’ve got to keep pushing: CTA rules in woman’s favour over Regina bus accessibility

By Kelly Skjerven
Global News
Posted May 1, 2021

A Regina woman who uses a wheelchair filed a claim against Rider Express after an operator told her they could not accommodate her wheelchair on the bus.

After waiting over two years, a Regina woman who uses a wheelchair is happy the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruled in her favour against a bus company.

In October 2018, Terri Sleeva called Rider Express Transportation to book a ride from Regina to Saskatoon for a date in November.

Sleeva told the operator that she uses a wheelchair and was told that the bus was not wheelchair accessible. The operator told Sleeva the company would be receiving wheelchair-accessible buses in the future but was not told a specific date.

Intel and AI Developer Create Backpack for Visually Impaired

By Ujala Chowdhry
April 20, 2021

What differentiates an animal from a machine are its mirror neurons, a set of neurons in an organism’s brain that is fired to perform a task based on the performance of self or others. Discovered in 1991, the research on mirror neurons is still going on, and the Giacomo Rizzolatti research group believes that these neurons are the biological basis of compassion and empathy.

Federal Appeals Court: Civil Rights Claims Against Uber Must Be Heard in Court

Originally Posted March 22, 2021

Pittsburgh, PA – Plaintiffs suing Uber for failing to provide transportation accessible to people with disabilities cannot be forced out of court and into arbitration, a federal court of appeals ruled on Wednesday. Read the Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion at the link below.

The plaintiffs are people with disabilities who cannot use Uber’s on-demand transportation service in Pittsburgh because there are no wheelchair accessible vehicles available through Uber’s app.

The lawsuit, filed in 2019, seeks modifications to Uber’s policies and practices to ensure that the company makes wheelchair-accessible vehicles readily available to Pittsburgh riders who need them. Plaintiffs do not seek monetary damages.

Uber Ordered to Pay $1.1m to Blind Woman Refused Rides

BBC News, Apr. 2, 2021

Uber argued it was not liable because its drivers are contractors Uber has been ordered to pay $1.1m (£795,000) to a blind woman who was refused rides on 14 occasions.

Lisa Irving said on some occasions, drivers were verbally abusive, or harassed her about transporting her guide dog, Bernie, in the car.

One driver allegedly cut her trip short after falsely claiming to have arrived at her destination.

An independent arbitrator ruled Uber’s drivers had illegally discriminated against her due to her condition.

It rejected Uber’s claim that the company itself was not liable, because, it argued, its drivers had the status of contractors rather than employees.

Alaska Airlines Clamps Down on Emotional Support Animals on Flights

The airline says it will permit service dogs only, following a move by the U.S. Department of Transportation to reclassify the types of service animals allowed on flights.
Alaska Airlines said it would disallow emotional support animals on its flights starting Jan. 11. By Allyson Waller
Dec. 29, 2020

If you’re flying on Alaska Airlines starting in mid-January, don’t plan on boarding with your support pig or miniature horse.

The airline, acting in the wake of new federal guidelines aimed at reining in a range of at times exotic animals that passengers have brought onto commercial planes as emotional support animals, kept it simple in announcing on Tuesday what it would allow: only qualified service dogs that are able to lie on the floor or be held in one’s lap.

Campaigner’s Research Shows Rail Access Information Is Often ‘Wildly Inaccurate’

By John Pring on 23rd December 2020

Information used by disabled passengers to check if a rail station is accessible is frequently wildly inaccurate, and often leads them to book travel to and from stations they cannot access, according to new research.

The research by disabled campaigner and access expert Doug Paulley shows that the accuracy of accessibility information has worsened in the two years since the problem was highlighted by the regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

Paulleys research shows that for more than half of stations (51 per cent) across England, Scotland and Wales, the information used by the National Rail Enquiries (NRE) website on the level of step-free access is different from that held by the operators of those stations.

The FuelService App: Solving Driver’s with Disabilities Major Problem of Getting Gas

Dec 28,2020

The age-old problem, for drivers with disabilities, of having to find assistance to get Full Service at a Self-Serve gas stations has finally been solved.

The Canadian Coalition for Mobility Challenged Drivers, was looking for a solution to this major problem since 2014. Many avenues were traveled on to eliminate this problem. During our search to find a way to ‘fill er up’, we came across a number of different proposals.

Disability Advocates Propose Plan to Fix, Improve Winnipeg Transit

Disability Advocates Propose Plan to Fix, Improve Winnipeg Transit Report identifies 9 steps to ensuring those with disabilities have equal access CBC News, Posted: Dec 03, 2020

Winnipeg Transit is broken for people with disabilities, say advocates who have proposed a nine-step plan to fix it.

A coalition of community groups – which includes the Amalgamated Transit Union and the Independent Living Resource Centre – have a nine-step plan to move forward and improve the city’s bus service.

A report, to be officially handed to city hall administration on Friday, was built on decades of experiences and frustrations faced by those with mobility restrictions and other disabilities “who rely on Winnipeg Transit day-to-day to live their lives like everybody else,” said Patrick Stewart, a consultant for the resource centre.

Advocates Fear AVs Will Leave Disabled Riders Behind

Pete Bigelow

For Carol Tyson, a recent proposal that would advance the commercialization of self-driving vehicles brought familiar pangs of frustration.

Like so many others, Tyson, an advocate for people with disabilities, believes autonomous transportation holds the potential to unlock newfound independence and mobility for millions of Americans. However, blueprints for that future are missing vital components, namely vehicle designs and regulatory frameworks that address considerations for riders with disabilities.

Transportation leaders have a long history of neglecting the needs of people with disabilities, and advocates such as Tyson grew alarmed again in October when the California Public Utilities Commission issued a proposal that would have allowed autonomous vehicle operators to charge fares and offer shared trips: At least at the outset, it did not include disability access requirements.