Policy Recommendations for the 88th Texas Legislature to Improve Transportation Access for Texans with Disabilities

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Office of the Texas Governor, Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities

Effective, Reliable, Accessible Transportation: A Lifeline for People with Disabilities

The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD) works on a variety of transportation issues from accessible parking and paratransit services to business or recreational travel. Transportation facilitates vital access for all persons, including Texans with disabilities, to employment, education, healthcare, and the community. GCPD Policy Recommendations for the 88th Texas Legislature regarding transportation include addressing a shortage of accessible parking, providing suggestions for the appropriate use of accessible parking placards, and continuing efforts to expand the use of on-demand ride hailing services (Uber, Lyft, etc.) for persons with disabilities.

Accessible Parking

During the 84th Legislative Session, House Bill 1317 charged GCPD with gathering information and preparing a report on accessible parking issues in the state. The full report and discussion on each recommendation can be found on GCPD’s webpage. Current policy proposals carry forward issues previously presented and include some new thinking:

  • Strengthen accessible parking enforcement responsibilities whether on private or public land.
  • Discourage frequent dismissal of accessible parking citations.
  • Control fraud and abuse of accessible parking placards.
  • Develop public awareness campaigns on accessible parking, updating language related to accessible parking, and education classes on disability awareness.
  • Expand the availability of van accessible parking spaces at facilities which serve people with disabilities.

Accessible Parking Placards

Organizations that provide accessible transportation for individuals with disabilities to live independently and thrive in their community of choice do not have access to accessible parking placards. GCPD recommends that placards also be obtainable by certain types of facilities which provide independent living skills, day habilitation, or activities for persons with disabilities.

Transportation Network Companies and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

On-demand ride hailing services, such as those provided by Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare businesses, may help reduce transportation barriers that often limit access to jobs, health care, and community services for many people. However, these benefits have not extended to people with disabilities who use fixed-frame wheelchairs, as wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs) are not readily available.

GCPD recommends that the Texas Legislature and TNCs further study how public and private driver incentives can lower the cost of owning and operating a WAV to provide expanded access to passengers who use fixed-frame wheelchairs.

These policy recommendations are just the first step toward improving transportation access for Texans with Disabilities – and there is still time for these crucial policies to become effective legislation.

House Committee on Transportation            Senate Committee on Transportation