Where to begin? There are so many issues with this. First and foremost is the maintenance of equipment designed to help disabled passengers to board and exit the vehicle. Too many times they are not working well or at all. I have a service dog and using lifts to access vehicles was often metal and slippery when it was dry. When wet, it was a disaster. Elevators located at the stations that have them are also an issue in this respect. Most of the time I had to instruct my dog to lie down to keep her from being sliding off and being injured. The drivers or the person operating the lift were often impatient and hurrying to keep their schedule on-time. It was very stressful for both me and my dog. Then I had to juggle holding onto the dog's harness, my purse/wallet on a moving vehicle to pay the fare trying to maintain my balance. Buying a pass was not cost-effective as I don't use transit on a regular basis due to all the problems we are confronted with in using public transit. The drivers/operators could also use more sensitivity training towards disabled/aged passengers. Some places train their drivers well, but more often they were not helpful or knew what to do or just didn't do it.
Having a service dog in a too small space with people stepping or tripping over her is ALWAYS an issue. Not to mention she had to lie on filthy flooring with unspeakable contents on it. I know because I had to clean it off. Service dogs for the blind are almost always large breeds. The space on transit vehicles is simply not adequate for safe or easy travel. If my dog is hurt or unable to work, that means I am unable to work or go anywhere. Her comfort and safety is my Number One priority and the transit authority should ensure that by designing and providing adequate space in a relatively clean and safe place in their vehicles.
Anchoring devices for the wheelchairs, mobility scooters, etc. were often missing, broken or could not be secured adequately causing them to shift and roll while riding in the transit vehicle. Since my dog and I were often placed in the disabled section near them, we had to be watchful and ready to dodge them or sit awkwardly on the seat/floor to avoid injury.
I am hearing impaired as well and could barely hear the driver call out (the microphone often don't work) that my stop was approaching. I usually had to ask another rider to alert me. Sometimes the driver would forget to call out the stops in the places I lived where they were supposed to do that. I can't see landmarks or signs so I am very dependent on that cue. The trolley system I used to ride had an automated announcement but it often didn't work or needed to be re-set and announced the wrong stop at the wrong station. Again, I had to ask other riders to assist me as I could not depend on the vehicle or its operator. There's more but those given above are the most important. I doubt that most vehicles could pass inspections of their equipment designed to accommodate the disable dor challenged. (Submitted on behalf of Jane L.)