Following Local Laws Doesn’t Ruin Rideshare Companies…
So why are ride-sharing companies abiding by the law?
Andy Tryba & Marisa Goldenberg in their recent blog, “Top 5 things we learned from our first million Ride|Austin rideshare trips” list “Following local laws doesn’t ruin rideshare (at least in Austin)” as number one. If following local laws doesn’t ruin rideshare, my question then is, why doesn’t Ride|Austin follow the local laws?
The City of Austin has ordinances regarding ride-sharing and service delivery to people with disabilities. According to city ordinances, every transportation network company(TNC) in Austin is required to have an accessible service request option on their app within three months of launching. Without an accessible app, people with visual disabilities and others that use assistive technologies to access their cell phone, apps and the Internet are excluded from accessing and using ride-share services.
Beyond accessible apps, now imagine that you are part of a minority that ride-sharing companies refuse to serve, i.e., riders in wheelchairs, riders with service dogs. Your community is excluded from this convenient service that everyone else gets to use. How would you feel? Not only that but drivers actively drive past you instead of stopping to pick you up. Would you call that discrimination?
By ignoring the needs of our community, TNC’s are saying to people with disabilities, “You Are Not Important Enough.” Quote from a rider with disabilities
At the time this blog was written, it appears The City of Austin is not enforcing the laws meant to prevent discrimination and other social injustices. — However lack of enforcement is no excuse, it does not give TNC’s the right to ignore or fail to comply with city regulations — the very same codes TNC’s agreed to meet in order to legally operate in the City of Austin.
Access to ride-sharing services by people with disabilities is an urban transportation problem. However, overlooking the needs of individuals with disabilities by The City of Austin and Austin-based TNC’s is more than just an urban transportation problem: It’s an issue of inequity and civil rights.
TNC’s need to follow the law and The City of Austin needs to enforce the law. View the laws here or go to the link: (https://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm%3Fid=245769).
TNC Check out “Why Are Austin’s Ridesharing Providers Excluding People With Disabilities?” and learn how TNC’s can get on the right-side of social inclusion and provide rides to people with disabilities:
Includes tips and ideas for Ridesharing Companies to Better Serve the Disability Communityaustinstartups.com
New Ride-Sharing Complaint Form
If you want to file a complaint with the City of Austin against a ride-sharing company, you can now do so online or by mail.
Click on link: Ride-Sharing Online Complaint Form
or cut and paste this link into your browser: http://austintexas.gov/online-form/ground-transportation-complaint-form
Click on link: GROUND TRANSPORTATION COMPLAINT FORM or cut and paste this link into your browser: http://austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Transportation/Ground_Transportation/ground-transportation-complaint-form.pdf
Mail Completed Form:
Austin Transportation Department
Vehicles for Hire/Ground Transportation
P.O. Box 1088
Austin, TX 78767–1088
Darren Bates is a lifelong champion of equality, inclusion, and social justice for people with disabilities and other diverse, underrepresented, and historically marginalized populations. Darren is internationally recognized as one of the most innovative and knowledgeable Thought Leaders in the field of Global Inclusion.
Darren offers accessibility and inclusion training, strategic consulting, and professional speaking services through Darren Bates, LLC.