April 11, 2017
Since the adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, cities and communities across the country have been revising and improving their modes of public transportation to better assist people with disabilities who want the freedom and independence to travel throughout their own community. Baltimore is no exception.
On June 18, 2017, Baltimore MTA will launch its new BaltimoreLink, a complete overhaul and rebranding of the core transit system operating within the city and throughout the Baltimore region. Senior riders and those with disabilities can receive comprehensive training so they are able to use this new system safely and independently.
Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) offers various modes of transportation, all of which are wheelchair accessible and allow service animals to accompany passengers with disabilities.
The MTA also offers a trip planner and My MTA Tracker, which sends you real-time alerts either by email or text.
This service is available to MTA-certified Mobility customers who meet the eligibility requirements. It is a separate service from the Mobility service in that the MTA contracts with local taxicab and sedan companies and individuals who participate in this program deal directly with these taxi and sedan companies. Should you need assistance or use a foldup wheelchair or motorized wheelchair, let the company know ahead of time. People in this program are allowed 2 trips a day at a cost of $3.00 per trip. The MTA will pay up to $20.00 for each trip; if your fare is over $20.00, you will be responsible for the $3.00 plus any amount that exceeds $20.00. If you travel with a personal care assistant, their fare is free. The Call-A-Rideservice covers the same area as MTA Mobility, which is Baltimore City, most of Baltimore County, and some of Anne Arundel County.
The travel industry has realized that the people with disabilities are increasingly traveling, and facilities are providing more services and accommodations for those travelers with special needs. With that being said, accessibility regulations vary from country to country. Below are a few trips if you are planning a trip abroad.
Over the past few decades, we have broken down a lot of barriers for those who require additional assistance. Yet that’s not to say we don’t still have a long ways to go. Being flexible and having a positive attitude should not be confused with settling for less. Remember that, when you are traveling, whether across the ocean or within Baltimore, if you believe your rights are being violated, speak out and work toward remedying the situation so the next traveler won’t experience the same frustration.