Transportation Laws and Options
Whether you ride, fly, float, or drive, vision loss can present challenges to the process of transportation. In this section, we will inform you about your rights to access to public transportation and air travel, and answer questions about driving if you have limited vision.
Your Right to Accessible Public Transportation
The Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA) gives people with disabilities many important rights in the area of transportation. If you have a disability, you are entitled to the same right to use and enjoy public transportation as people without disabilities. Here are some examples of things that your local transit authority must do to make a transportation system accessible.
- Public buses need to be accessible to those in wheelchairs.
- Drivers need to announce their stops out loud to benefit visually impaired persons who ride the bus.
- Telephones, drinking fountains, and restrooms inside the terminal should also be accessible.
If the local transit authority cannot adequately serve its clients with disabilities in its regular system, it is required to create a parallel transportation system for people with disabilities. This system is referred to as a paratransit system.
Paratransit systems are curb-to-curb demand responsive systems. What this means is that you should be able to schedule a trip, be picked up at your door and then be taken to your destination and returned home.
You should be able to schedule your ride just twenty-four hours in advance. Your pick-up time should be within one hour before or after your desired departure time. You should not be asked to schedule your trip during off peak hours. The transit authority should put additional vans and buses on the road during peak hours to keep up with the demand.
In some communities, accessible transportation may still be a problem. The Lions Club is one organization that can establish transportation services for the blind and visually impaired in communities where accessible transportation does not exist. Go to the Lion's Club website and find a Lion's Club near you to inquire about this service.