At Your Service: Solving Transportation Issues For The Disabled

All over the world, a large number of urban and inter-urban transport services remain inaccessible to persons with disabilities. As a result, many community members suffer from extreme hassle and frustration – especially those whose daily activities involve transportation.

That is why it is important for less-capable individuals to voice out these concerns. Feedback from consumers helps shed light on problems and emerging inaccessibility trends in transportation industries. Thus, if you want to pursue change for the good of all concerned, take the time and effort to report any discriminatory incident.

Make sure you have followed the necessary steps first before escalating the situation to higher officials. If you still find your issue unresolved, then it may be time for you to seek professional assistance. Here is a list of companies, agencies, or departments for each specific transport services that you can reach out to:

Buses, Trains, and Paratransit Services

Wheelchair-user waiting for a ride on a train station.

Different methods are observed for different type transportation system. For a private transit, you may file your official complaint directly to the company itself. As for a public type, you may need to contact a local government agency. Here’s a more detailed information:

For Private Transport Systems: Browse for the company’s name and phone number. Determine if the company has a Facebook page, a website, or an advertisement that contains any contact information. You can either email them the complaint, call the organization, or personally visit their office.

For Public Transport Systems: Reach out to your city, region, or state transportation agency. Often times their contact information is just a Google search away, and most of these services have formal complaint processes.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures that all stakeholders are experiencing equal and quality services. If you feel that you have experienced violation of the ADA, please file a report to the Department of Justice.

Always take note that government departments are made for the public. Do not ever hesitate to ask for help especially for major concerns. Your feedback plays an essential role in policy and service development.

Taxis and Ridesharing Services.

Wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV).

Taxis are owned by private firms. Therefore, you must file your complaint directly to the company. Most of these vehicles have every essential information displayed inside the vehicle as mandated by law. However, if you have not managed to take note of those details, you can always rely on the internet. You can either fill up their complaint forms or ask for a customer service representative.

As for ride-hailing applications, they have customer support services online. For Uber, visit their website and click the ‘accessibility’ tab or report issues using the Uber app itself. Lyft also accepts complaints using their app or through their website.

Aviation (Airlines and Airports)

Wheelchair user at the airport.

The differences between Airlines and Airports go beyond just their definition. They each have their own laws that aim to protect your disability rights with air travel. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects you at airports, while the Air Carriers Access Act (ACAA) protects you with airlines.

Airlines: All airlines are required to have a Complaints Resolution Official (CRO) that are available over the phone or through a personal transaction. These officials have received training and are knowledgeable of the regulations ensuring accessible travel for passengers with disabilities.

You are entitled to speak with a CRO if you feel the airline is not following the ACAA rules. As mentioned before, you may be able to connect with a representative through phone or email.

We also recommend that you follow up your complaints with an incident report to the Department of Transportation. You may contact them using their consumer protection hotline: 1-800-778-4838; or through their official website:
https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint

Airports: For issues that happened on the airport grounds, you may contact the airport’s manager or visit the manager’s office. They will assist you if you feel you have experienced discrimination. We also suggest filing an additional complaint with the designated governmental department that manages the airport.

TAKE NOTE: The DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division does not cover aviation and security complaints

If you are still not satisfied with the airline’s response, call the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) from their telephone number: 1-866-835-5322; or you may also visit the FAA website to report a safety-related travel problem.

For incidents during the passenger and baggage screening process, report to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The agency has a disability support line for disability-related concerns: 855-787-2227. Or, you may also visit their website.

Rented Vans/Other Accessible Vehicles

Wheelchair-accessible van for rent.

Like everyone else on this list, contact the dealership management or their corporate office first. Give the company a chance to resolve the issue. If further mediation is needed, approach the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. You may contact them through their email: [email protected]; their toll-free hotline:(866) 948-8341; or you can also visit their website.

Your voice matters. Lead the way to a more enjoyable and safe travelling experience by shedding light on these issues.

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