An adult man wearing business casual attire, is rising from a seated position, while patting his guide dog on the head. He has a cane in the same hand as his dog leash.

As Employers "Return to Work" Transportation Needs Threaten Recent Improvements in Employment Rates for People with Disabilities.

Employment rates for people with disabilities are at an all-time high and experts point to remote work as a key factor. As Allison Chase, CEO of Able Trust (a Florida nonprofit working to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities), put in a recent interview with NBC News, “Once you take it [transportation] out of the equation, a lot of jobs open up.”

But in order to continue this positive trend, and even prevent a backslide as more and more organizations return to the office – the root transportation problem must be addressed. Looking at pre-covid data it’s clear, as Chase puts it, “…basic transportation is one of the biggest barriers many people with disabilities face when looking for work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019 71.3% of people with disabilities aged 16 to 64 who were not employed reported at least one barrier to employment. Transportation was listed as a barrier for over 12% of those working-age respondents.  

Thanks to the accessibility innovations and improvements made by transit agencies across the country over the past several decades, many people with disabilities can use conventional public transit (light rail, commuter bus, and train services), but for those who cannot, a robust Paratransit system provides a critical workforce benefit.

But paratransit service (as provided in many communities around the country) is the most costly type of service that most agencies provide. Add in driver shortages and rising demand for service, and many agencies are definitely feeling the pinch. That’s where non-dedicated service providers (NDSPs) like UZURV come into the picture. Put simply, UZURV is helping transit agencies around the country keep the promise of a ride to and from work for people with disabilities.

UZURV a Workforce Equity Solution for People with Disabilities.

UZURV is the Adaptive Transportation Network Company (Adaptive TNC), built from the ground up for people with disabilities and older adults.

Here are key ways transit agencies and riders rely on the Adaptive TNC model for work transportation:

Each Trip To and From Work is Dedicated to That Rider

Getting a ride to and from work is direct for UZURV riders, without shared trips, so the riders’ commutes are as predictable and efficient as possible.

Getting to Work On-Time

It’s no surprise that with a dedicated vehicle, UZURV has very high on-time performance rates.

When travel times can be predicted, on-time performance improves. So it’s no wonder that UZURV has high on-time performance.

UZURV drivers’ on-time performance, across all programs, is over 98% and that’s within a 15-minute window of the scheduled pick-up time. In one of our programs, the agency measures Appointment On-Time Performance (AOTP), meaning being on time for when the trip is supposed to arrive at its scheduled destination. The AOTP has never been anything but 100% in the year and a half we have provided service there.

Working the Door (to Door) Service

The distance to and from a vehicle to the door should not be a barrier to employment. UZURV provides riders with door-to-door service and will provide assistance in and out of the vehicle. While not all people with disabilities want or need this level of assistance, UZURV drivers know to ask “What can I do to assist you to the vehicle today?

Every Day is Bring Your Guide Dog to Work Day

The Americans with Disabilities Act is clear. People with disabilities have the right to be accompanied by their service animals, and places of public accommodation (including transportation providers) are prohibited from denying their access. But for far too many people with disabilities, the reality is different.

UZURV drivers welcome all riders, including those with service animals, and company policy is clear and strictly enforced:

  • As part of their company on-boarding, UZURV drivers must agree to transport both riders and their service animals—no ifs, ands, or buts.
  • UZURV drivers are instructed on the only two questions they are permitted to ask riders traveling with a service animal:
    • Is the animal required because of a disability?; and
    • What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?

Failure on the part of a driver to meet these standards results in a permanent suspension. Read the UZURV service animal policy and procedures here:

A Flexible Workplace

Leveraging an NDSP can provide transit agencies added flexibility for their riders in ADA Paratransit and Rider Choice programs. Agencies use NDSPs for programs that offer same-day booking and for expanded service areas beyond what is required by the ADA. Increase options for paratransit riders, delivering, accessible, reliable, and on-time transportation to and from work. With UZURV, these expanded services in a Rider Choice program are provided with fully FTA-compliant drivers and door-to-door service.

What do paratransit commuters have to say?

“This company has been very helpful in getting my daughter who is visually impaired, to and from work and with doctors appointments. They provide Excellent service. Thank you UZURV!”

– Greater Richmond Transit Corporation Rider

“I live in the south Chicago suburbs and I am a fully blind rider. I recently had a trip with [UZURV’s] service for the first time on Thursday, and it was a great experience. Getting to work on time is very important and I want to make sure that I have that option.”

– PACE Suburban Bus Rider

“UZURV has done a good job at telling the drivers what time I need to be picked up. The drivers have been reliable and friendly. They have been able to get me where I need to go and been able to get me to work on time.”

– Chesterfield, Va Access on Demand Rider