Call to Action: Disability Access to Transportation Act, H.R. 1697


Michael Malver
 




Begin forwarded message:

From: American Council of the Blind <advocacy@...>
Date: August 20, 2021 at 11:06:58 AM CDT
To: mmalver@...
Subject: Call to Action: Disability Access to Transportation Act, H.R. 1697
Reply-To: advocacy@...


One of ACB’s legislative imperatives this year is the Disability Access to Transportation Act (DATA) (H.R. 1697/S. 2038). Among other things, this legislation will create a one-stop para transit pilot program, require the completion of the Public Rights of Way Accessibility Guidelines, provide greater funding for transportation grants, and improve the DOT complaint process. 
 
The bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1697, was included in the House-passed Invest in America Act, however the version of the bill introduced in the Senate (S. 2038) was not included in the Senate-passed infrastructure package. There may be an opportunity for DATA to be included in the infrastructure package when the House and Senate conference to negotiate the final bill, or DATA may be included in the larger infrastructure package passed through the budget reconciliation process. 
 
To raise the profile of DATA, original sponsors, Reps. Langevin (D-RI-02) and Titus (D-NV-01) are circulating the below Dear Colleague letter. The purpose of the below letter is to encourage other members of the House of Representatives to cosponsor DATA, H.R. 1697. Current cosponsors of H.R. 1697 include: Reps. Napolitano (D-CA-32), Ross (D-NC-02), Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Bourdeaux (D-GA-07), and Cohen (D-TN-09).
 
Please share the below Dear Colleague letter with your members of Congress and urge them to cosponsor the Disability Access to Transportation Act, H.R. 1697! 

Contact information for your member of the House of Representatives is available at: www.house.gov and searching by your five digit ZIP code. 
 
When emailing your Representative and their staff, please urge them to cosponsor and support H.R. 1697 and copy and paste the Dear Colleague letter included at the end of this email.

If calling your Representative via their office phone numbers or by connecting through the Capitol Switch Board (202-224-3121), please let them know that you are a constituent and that you would like them to cosponsor H.R. 1697, the Disability Access to Transportation Act. 
 
Please let the ACB Advocacy Team know the Representatives you contacted by replying to this message or by emailing: advocacy@....
 
Thank You,
ACB Advocacy Team 
Cosponsor legislation to make transportation more accessible 
Sending Office: Honorable James R. Langevin
Sent By: Alec.Goldstone@...
              
Request for Cosponsor(s)
 
H.R. 1697, the Disability Access to Transportation Act (DATA)
Cosponsors: Langevin and Titus (original), Napolitano, Ross, Blumenauer, Bourdeaux

Dear Colleague,
 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 4 U.S. adults has a disability. Section 2(b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognized that individuals with disabilities face discrimination when using transportation services and sought to provide “a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.” 
 
Thirty-one years after the enactment of the ADA, individuals with disabilities continue to face discrimination and a lack of accessible transportation options. Transportation is a core component of independent living. In fact, without the ability to easily move from one location to another, true community living is impossible. 
 
H.R. 1697 would address many of the present challenges in transportation for people with disabilities, most of which were included in the House-passed version of the INVEST in America Act. Specifically, it would:
Establish a one-stop paratransit pilot program so that riders could schedule an intermediate stop during their trips. This program would expand on current paratransit programs that are required by the ADA. By adding the option for an intermediate stop of at least 15 minutes, paratransit riders could avoid excessive wait times between multiple trips.*
 
Require the U.S. Access Board to publish final public rights of way accessibility guidelines (proposed in 2011 and 2013) setting minimum standards to ensure that sidewalks, street crossings, signals, and other facilities for pedestrian use are accessible to pedestrians with disabilities.*
 
Streamline the process for submitting accessibility complaints or concerns to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). DATA would require the FTA to accept complaints by mail, phone, or online. It would also require paratransit providers to post information about how to register a complaint through the FTA’s process to raise awareness.*
 
Establish an Accessibility Data Pilot Program to assist local communities in identifying gaps in transportation and methods to improve service to low-income, minority, older, and disabled populations.
 
Increase funding for Section 5310 formula funding, which assists private nonprofit groups in meeting the transportation needs of older adults and people with disabilities.* 
 
I urge you to join me in this effort by cosponsoring H.R. 1697. This common-sense bill will ensure that people with disabilities across the country have accessible transportation options available to them to facilitate true independence and participation in society.
 
For more information or to join as a cosponsor, please contact Alec Goldstone in Rep. Langevin’s office at alec.goldstone@... or 5-2735.
 
Sincerely,
James R. Langevin                                               
Member of Congress                                            
 
Dina Titus
Member of Congress
 
*Included in House-passed INVEST in America Act
American Council of the Blind | www.acb.org