I’m honored to have today’s guest post from friend-of-the-blog Boone Blocker. Boone is an active citizen in the transportation field, having served on the city’s Urban Transportation Commission and CapMetro’s Access Advisory Committee. Boone was Rider Zero for UberACCESS; he brings his user’s perspective on the new service that provides mobility for people with mobility challenges:
Around the world and in our own community of Austin, people with mobility challenges have been and continue to be left behind by the current antiquated taxi system. These rides are unreliable at best and exclusionary at worst. Under the model which exists today, drivers frequently break off from trips and paying customers are left stranded with no idea if their driver is actually coming or in what timeframe they might be arriving. As an answer to this very real problem, an innovative alternative to the old tired system recently arrived on the local scene: UberACCESS.
UberACCESS is a first of its kind, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, on-demand, fully wheelchair accessible service. Instantaneously upon successfully requesting the ride, the passenger is alerted with the driver’s name and picture and additionally the type, color and picture of the vehicle. The passenger is also provided with the driver’s contact information if they need to relay any trip information and can carefully monitor the pick-up vehicle’s block-by-block movement and ETA as it approaches the pick-up location.
UberACCESS is empowerment in the face of hopelessness. It provides freedom and independence from the tyranny of transportation on someone else’s terms. It allows everyone to fully participate in all facets of our vibrant culture. We all see the world from different points of view and when a broader cross-section of our community is represented, we are able to forge new ideas together to break through the malignant status quo.
As we travel together in this brave new world of transportation, the inclusion of innovative companies and an engaged citizenry are imperative. This free-thinking environment produces solutions to problems which once seemed impassible. It’s equally as vital to have a flexible regulatory framework provided by the City, which affords companies the space to create and the citizens a clear conduit to provide our feedback for the necessary on-the-ground refinement of the products. We find ourselves on the precipice of a long overdue transportation revolution and we must do our utmost to ensure it benefits us all, not just the entrenched few.