The Americans with Disabilities Act requires most taxi companies, shuttle bus operators and shared ride shuttle vans to provide an equivalent wheelchair accessible service to persons with disabilities. Despite this responsibility, most transportation providers ignore regulations, equipping only a small number of vehicles with accessibility features, if any.
In far too many U.S. airports, both large and small, wheelchair accessible ground transportation is either difficult to acquire or does not exist at all. Public transport systems do exist, but with limited hours of operation and service areas, they may not meet the needs of disabled travelers. Accessible taxis with ramps and shared ride shuttle services are better suited to the needs of wheelchair users needing to get from Point A to Point B after a flight.
Although ADA enforcement is the legal responsibility of disabled people and the Department of Justice, airports grant operating permits to transportation providers, which generates a significant amount of revenue. Airports across the country impose surcharges on taxi rides originating at the airport, sometimes up to $5 per ride. In 2015, the 50 largest U.S. airports raked in more than $183 million in taxi fare surcharges, according to data obtained by The Associated Press.
Many contracts between airports and transportation companies stipulate that the provider must comply with all local, state and federal laws. Because the ADA is a federal civil rights law, we believe that airports have a duty to enforce that contract provision, suspending permits until the transportation provider demonstrates ADA compliance. For airports that do not contain such a provision in permitting agreements, we believe that they should update future contracts to include one.
Sign a petition to encourage airports to take a stronger position on transportation accessibility
By signing the petition below, your name will be added to a list of supporters who believe that airport transportation providers should serve everyone, including wheelchair users and other travelers with disabilities. Airport operators have an opportunity and a responsibility to ensure that no disabled traveler is subjected to disability discrimination on airport premises. Please sign your name below.
Once we have stopped collecting signatures, a letter advocating for greater involvement in transportation accessibility will be sent to a wide range of U.S. airports where ADA accessible transportation is considered to be inadequate. Your signatures will allow our advocacy to reach a wider audience, and to be taken more seriously. Thank you for your support of accessible transportation for disabled people!
Other actions you can take to support this advocacy effort
- Contact the ADA Coordinator at your local airport or any airports that you have used to share your experiences with accessible ground transportation.
- If you have previously experienced an issue finding accessible transportation at a U.S. airport, or have waited much longer than nondisabled people for a wheelchair taxi, consider informing the Department of Justice through an ADA complaint.