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Advocates call for accessibility if ride sharing comes to upstate NY

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Jason Lawrence
/
Flickr

Along with insurance issues, handicapped accessibility has become one of the roadblocks to getting ride sharing services in upstate New York.

State lawmakers expect to make expanding ride sharing services to upstate New York a priority this upcoming legislative season, including Uber and Lyft. But they’ll have to get past the insurance and taxi lobbies, and also may also find roadblocks from the disabled community.

Access CNY Executive Director Paul Joslyn says it’s a matter of making sure disabled riders aren’t left out.

"To make sure Uber drivers … have an appropriate number of their fleet, if you will, that is accessible to people who use wheel chairs, or use guide dogs, or just have other access ability needs,” Joslyn says.

Joslyn says if lawmakers approve this, there should be mandates that require a certain number of cars to have wheelchair accessibility in each upstate region. Accessibility has become a thorny issue in the New York City area, where ride sharing services are legal. Joslyn says if a compromise can be reached, the concept of ride sharing would actually benefit disabled residents, who often find transportation a barrier to jobs and housing.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.