Access Denied? Perceptions of New Mobility Services Among Disabled People in San Francisco

Thirty years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with disabilities still face significant barriers to transportation access. In recent years, new transportation services known as “new mobility” or “emerging mobility” launched entirely without accessible options. These services include transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Lyft and Uber, bike share, scooter share, and car share. Whether cities rush to welcome or grudgingly accept new mobility services, disability access is still too often an afterthought. This paper examines perceptions of new mobility services among disabled people in San Francisco via a survey of 218 people with disabilities. The study finds that disabled people in San Francisco see promise in some new mobility services but currently face significant barriers to use. Out of all new mobility options, respondents were most interested in on-demand automobile access, e.g. accessible TNCs or accessible taxis. Respondents expressed significant concern about scooters and dockless bike share blocking the path of travel, and nearly 75 percent reported that an improperly parked scooter or bike created a mobility barrier for them on at least one occasion. Additionally, with broken sidewalks and missing curb ramps common, people with disabilities still face many barriers to basic mobility. This paper offers the following recommendations: continue advocating for more effective TNC wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) regulations at the state level, address the problem of scooters and bicycles on sidewalks, and build safer active transportation infrastructure to decrease conflicts between modes and make public space safer for vulnerable pedestrians.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01763806
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: TRBAM-21-03569
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 23 2020 11:11AM