One of the authors of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act is urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to push for disabled accessibility requirements in any legislation that authorizes ride-hailing companies to operate upstate.
Former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat, wrote a letter to the governor last week calling on him to include in his legislative proposal accessibility requirements similar to or greater than those included in 2011 legislation that, among other things, authorized the sale of new taxi medallions in New York City but only to those with disabled accessible cabs. Harkin’s letter also highlights a 2013 settlement requiring that half of the city’s cabs be made disabled accessible.
“These standards should apply to all ride share companies operating across the state, including New York City, where there are currently no accessibility requirements for ride share providers,” Harkin wrote. “These requirements are critical to the ability of people with many different kinds of disabilities to enjoy equal access to what is becoming an increasingly popular and ubiquitous transportation option.”
Cuomo’s office did not comment on the letter Friday.
Advocates in New York have been pushing for disabled accessibility requirements in legislation. They say they are not opposed to ride-hailing expansion outside of New York City, but omnibus legislation authorizing companies like Uber and Lyft to give rides upstate and in the suburbs could easily include accessibility provisions.
In making his formal proposal for ride-hailing in his State of the State, Cuomo is seeking a task force that would review, study and make recommendations regarding accessibility needs in the ride-hailing industry “in an effort to protect and provide transportation to vulnerable populations.”
Senate legislation similarly would establish a state Transportation Network Company Accessibility Task Force to study disabled accessible transportation services.
Read the full article and letter here…