Transportation Laws for Driving People With Disabilities

Taxicabs play a significant role in America’s transportation industry, moving an average of two billion passengers a year to offices, hotels, churches, homes and more. With almost 10% of the rideshare passengers having a disability, it is important for drivers to understand the legal requirements for driving a passenger with disabilities. Taxicab drivers are not allowed to discriminate against people with disabilities, as the right to access transportation has been established through federal law.

The Legal Responsibility

Through the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with disabilities are granted access to both public and private transportation. Taxi services or rideshare companies must provide accommodations for these individuals, primarily through demand-responsive transportation. In this form of communication, the consumer initiates contact for transportation. This could mean an individual places a call, relies on a web-based service to schedule a reservation or sends an email.

The Driver’s Response

When it comes to driving a passenger with disabilities, the law requires that transportation providers undergo training to know which services need to be provided. The law will not accept ignorance as an excuse for discrimination. Employee onboarding may not be enough to generate lifelong compliance with ADA requirements, particularly in the execution of technical tasks such as working with lift equipment.

Refreshing one’s education on disabilities and ADA expectations for compliance can reduce complaints or claims of discrimination. The driver holds the primary responsibility of ensuring no passenger with disabilities is treated poorly out of ignorance.

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