San Francisco Falling Short on Transportation Access

by on May 9, 2014

The rights of people with disabilities seems to be selectively addressed and enforced, in San Francisco. Recent public hearings of the Board of Supervisors indicate that the so-called Transportation Network Companies [ TNCs] are neither accessible, in all their services, nor available to all.

Yet, the Mayor and some Supervisors continue to praise & support TNCs’ expansion of services, despite the obvious and publicly-acknowledged fact that TNCs can’t serve all people with disabilities.
TNCs have even been invited to be formal speakers / presenters at a Supervisors’ Committee hearing.

Worse, in some cases, TNC drivers have actually refused to serve people with guide dogs.
Even such blatant discrimination as that elicits a resounding silence from the Mayor and the Supervisors about this.

The City Attorney also neglects to take any enforcement action,seemingly because TNCs are licensed by a state agency, the California Public Utilities Commission [ CPUC ].

Yet, if a TNC needs a San Francisco business license, why isn’t that used as a basis for remedial or punitive action?

Even if there is no viable legal or administrative basis for any city agency to force TNCs doing business in San Francisco, why is that an excuse for silence in the face of discrimination?

How is it that failure to serve a class of people, especially a “legally-protected” class, elicits no City Hall calls for boycotts, for enforcement action, for – figuratively –running TNCs out of town?

Would City Hall officials stand for it if TNCs refused to serve women?

Would SF’s elected officials coddle and praise TNCs if they failed to serve the LGBT communities?

What is it about the values and thinking of City Hall officials that they can so blithely ignore the bias and discrimination from TNCs?

Bob Planthold

Bob Planthold writes columns on Disability Perspectives and is a longtime activist in San Francisco on senior and disabled issues.

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