The Center for Independent Living Options, Ohio Association of Centers for Independent Living, and the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities worked diligently with Representatives Bill Seitz and Catherine Ingram and Senators Frank LaRose and Charleta Tavares to pass legislation that opens the market for accessible cabs, including Uber and Lyft, in Ohio. Prior to House Bill 195, passed today by the Ohio General Prior, Ohio regulations required a cab, or ride-sharing company like Uber or Lyft, to become licensed as an ambulette to transport individuals in wheelchairs to any destination. The licensing requirements also made cab transportation for persons who use wheelchairs more expensive and difficult to access. House Bill 195 provides an exemption to those licensing requirements for cab and ride-sharing companies that simply want to transport persons in wheelchairs to every-day activities like work, shopping, and social events.
Suzanne Hopkins, Director of Programs at the Center for Independent Living Options, stated that she is pleased at this progress towards a day when accessible taxis are readily available at the same price anyone else would pay. “Like any able- bodied person, I want to have the option to take a spontaneous trip, for pleasure or for work, at a reasonable cost.”
Studies focused on identifying barriers for people with disabilities emphasize transportation as the single greatest barrier to living, working, and playing in the community. To Transportation Challenges for Ohioans with Disabilities This law moves Ohio one step forward in the fight to become a more accessible state for people with disabilities.
To read more H.B. 195, click here.