Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Global Transportation Community Meets at APTA Expo

Contributed by NiKette Banks and Whitney E. Gray

ESPA exhibit booth at APTA Expo

In October at the American Public Transportation Association’s 2011 Expo held in New Orleans, Louisiana, the global public transportation community gathered to share the latest developments in the field and learn from one another. Attendees were able to see the latest developments in bus and rail technology from around the world first-hand by walking through full-size buses and rail cars and speaking with company representatives. Easter Seals Project ACTION staff members at a booth on the expo floor were also available to answer questions about accessible transportation as well as give away some of our resources.

From speaking with many people who stopped by our booth, we learned more about initiatives happening across the country. One area of interest revolved around taxi service, especially accessible taxis. We heard from rural organizations that were adding taxis to existing services as a way to expand transportation options. In larger communities across the U.S., agencies are adding accessible taxis to their existing fleets. In Washington, D.C. for instance, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board launched D.C.’s first wheelchair accessible taxicab pilot project, rollDC, which includes a fleet of 20 accessible taxicabs to serve people with disabilities. From interests in taxi service to other areas of accessible transportation, it was great to speak with so many people and hear about current community interests and initiatives.

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