by AAPD's VP of External Affairs, Lara Schwartz
Unemployment is high and job creation is a top priority for America. But job creation is not the only piece of the puzzle. For many Americans including those with disabilities and people with low incomes, job opportunity cannot exist without job access. Even if a person is offered her dream job, there is no true opportunity if she lacks accessible transportation to get to the interview.
As Congress and the Administration consider how to combat unemployment, it’s important that they include accessible, affordable transportation in their agenda. People with disabilities disproportionately lack access to cars, but most of our nation’s transportation investments continue to focus on car-based travel. Options such as rail, commuter buses, and transit-oriented development—which means building employment, housing, and community services around accessible transit—not only increase opportunities for people with disabilities, they benefit the entire community by reducing traffic and pollution, enabling senior citizens to be closer to services and activities, and providing options for lower-income workers who can ill afford the $9,000 per year that it costs to own and maintain a car.