Equity In Transportation For Disabled Persons

Equity In Transportation For Disabled Persons

People with disabilities make up 15% of the world’s population and are considered the largest minority around the globe. Unfortunately, however, much of the world we live in is not designed keeping this population’s needs and ease in mind. This overarching problem also extends to the  American transportation system, which much of private travel being too expensive, inconvenient, and inaccessible for individuals living with disabilities.

This article will highlight some of the major issues individuals with disabilities have with mobility and touch upon how accessible public transportation can help combat this inequity.

Why Equity In Transportation Matters

Equity in transportation is an undeniable civil rights issue. For independence, adequate mobility, and better quality of life, disabled individuals must have access to affordable and accessible transport that is designed keeping their requirements in mind. This reliable and affordable transportation is essential in allowing disabled persons to access facilities and important services such as healthcare, education, housing, employment, and more.

The American transportation system, much like systems worldwide, is designed to favor private travel. The overwhelming number of personal vehicles on the streets is not only an issue for the environment but is also a class and health problem. Individuals who cannot afford to or are unable to drive their own vehicle disproportionately fall behind those who can, leaving them without a viable transportation option.

A study has reported that nearly 2 million disabled individuals never leave their homes. Five hundred sixty thousand of them report transportation difficulties as the number one reason for their lack of traveling. Adults with disabilities are also said to be twice as likely to face challenges with inadequate transport as opposed to those without.

The National Organization on Disability also conducted a survey to study this issue. They found that one-third of disabled individuals said that inadequate transportation was a problem they faced regularly, and more than 50% of this number cited it as a major problem. These researches point to the apparent inequalities in the private transportation model and are yet another reason why accessible public transportation needs to be encouraged and adopted more.

How Accessible Public Transportation Helps

Accessible public transport plays an instrumental role in giving people with disabilities access to education, employment, healthcare, and mobility to remain in regular physical contact with family, friends, and social support groups. It is vital in countering the alienation disabled individuals often feel and is an undeniable factor in helping improve their quality of life. This mobility is also essential in ensuring that disabled persons do not miss out on opportunities of employment, income-generating businesses, access to health care, or even leisure activities that are important for their mental and physical health.

While there is still much work to be done to make public transport more catered to differently-abled individuals, it is a good start. Public transportation is a relatively low-cost, convenient, and reliable alternative to private travel for most disabled persons and helps make travel safer and easier for them.



Recent Posts