Transportation & Employment:
The ADA transportation language/regulationas should be amended to increase the paratransit service area from 1 mile on either side of a fixed route service to a 10 mile corridor.
Nationwide the efficacy and outcomes for supported employment can be significantly enhanced through partnerships between urban and rural transit authorities, state vocational rehabilitation agencies, state departments of labor & can rehabilitation programs and independent living centers providing supported employment services by offering one-on-one travel training services to assist individuals with a cross-section of disabling conditions with independently managing public transit options in their communities.
The Barwood Taxi, Inc. model operating in Baltimore, Maryland and Virginia is the first private taxicab companies to offer wheelchair accessible taxis. The service is an entrepreneurial model whereby accessible taxis are leased by drivers and are supported through Barood's dispatch service for their private taxi service, County paratransit, Medicaid & Medicare sponsored transportation and other contracts for accessible transportation. This model is worth studying and replicating nationwide.
Federal and state tax credits should be made available to taxi operators if they offer and can document 24 seven wheelchair taxi services within their service areas.
CMS should require coordinated transportation as a requirement for state approval of Medicaid home and community based service waivers for state DD agency's and state MH agencies. The concept of DD agency's operating an Uber like ridesharing service for the general public/with disabilities should be researched, piloted and evaluated.
Federal and state tax credits should be made available to individuals with significant disabilities that require the purchase and maintenance of modified vehicles and/or driver services/taxis/personal is a work related disability expense.
This is some of my best thinking – would love to be reimbursed for the input, but would be happy to just see some of these suggestions considered, tested and/or implemented.
Michael Peluso, Albany, New York