Disability Rights Ohio Joins Effort to Encourage Governor and Legislative Leaders to Focus on Accessible, Affordable, and Sustainable Public Transit Options

December 14, 2016 / transportation

Led by Disability Rights Ohio, today a diverse group of advocates delivered a message to Governor John Kasich, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Ohio General Assembly. The Ohio Coalition for Transportation Equity is made up of more than 40 different stakeholders representing various populations from urban, suburban and rural communities who want to work with Ohio leaders to invest in accessible, affordable and sustainable public transit options.

In addition to Disability Rights Ohio, the coalition's members include representatives from a wide array of interests and backgrounds, including people with disabilities, older adults, environmental groups, bicycling organizations, human service providers, transit agencies, business concerns and faith leaders.

The coalition's letter announces the group's request to work with the administration to improve Ohio's public transit system, and details the positive impact that greater investment in public transit will likely have on Ohio's economy, environment and communities. The coalition's letter cites ODOT's 2015 Transit Needs study, which states that ODOT needs $192.4 million in capital and $96.7 million in operating funds just to meet existing demand for public transportation services. An additional $273.5 million in one-time funding is also needed to address system backlog and bring Ohio's accessible transit fleet to a state of good repair.

"Accessible, affordable and sustainable transportation is essential for connecting Ohioans to healthcare, social services, jobs, schools, and other community facilities," said Michael Kirkman, executive director of Disability Rights Ohio. "People with disabilities are ready to be a part of the transportation policy conversation, and Disability Rights Ohio is pleased to work with such a diverse coalition to ensure that their voices are heard."

According to the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), adults with disabilities are more than twice as likely to have inadequate transportation as adults without disabilities. The lack of genuine transportation options across the state, especially accessible public transit, remains a barrier for people with disabilities, and prohibits them from being fully integrated into the community.

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