Category Archives: Transportation

Finding Transportation Solutions

Western and Finger Lakes Region, NY: On Saturday, November 5, 2016, 150 private and public transportation providers, leaders, legislators, advocates and families will convene to focus on transportation solutions for people with disabilities and seniors in the Western and Finger Lakes region of New York State.

The summit will be held at Genesee Community College, Conable Tech Building, One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020 from 8:30am to 3pm.

Free, wheelchair accessible transportation is being provided by Aspire of WNY in Erie and Niagara counties and Livingston Wyoming Arc in Livingston and Wyoming counties. Lunch for the event is being provided by Key Bank for all participants.

Transportation for rural, suburban, and urban areas throughout Western New York and the Finger Lakes region is the focus of this gathering of officials and community members concerned with transportation for work, recreation, and health for people who do not or cannot drive. There continue to be many gaps in service, especially with recent public bus and service system funding cuts. Participants will highlight these concerns and gather with experts in the field to develop recommendations for solutions. The intention is to develop the partnerships and collaborations that will be needed to bring in funds to the area and develop projects to meet these needs.

The event is led by a collaborative of public and private provider and advocacy organizations who support people who have transportation needs. It will be attended by representatives from the NFTA, RGRTA, GBNRTC, NYS Department of Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Western NY Independent Living Center, Medical Motors, and several non-profit service provider agencies.

Panelists who have worked on collaborative solutions to transportation problems in both urban and rural areas will be presenting.

A unique aspect of this event is the opportunity for transportation providers and designers to collaborate with transportation riders and citizens to look at solutions together.

Register here





Transportation Summit – Saturday, November 5!

Free Accessible Transportation is available from several counties. Also, there is no cost- lunch is being provided by Key Bank. Encourage your elected officials, transportation providers and peers to go. Let’s get together and find solutions for transportation issues in Western NY and Finger Lakes! Any questions- you can call Sophia at 716-560-9307 or Laura Gawel at 716-505-5521.




Disability Rights advocates to hold street demonstration in Buffalo to protest Uber tactic

The Western New York Independent Living, Inc. family of agencies (WNYIL) is calling out the network transportation company Uber for its cynical attempt to bribe the public to ignore the hard-won rights of citizens with disabilities. While it is not authorized to carry passengers in the Empire State outside of New York City, for a four-hour period today, July 15th, Uber’s otherwise idle drivers in Buffalo, Albany and Utica are carrying stocked cooler chests and responding to “Ice Cream” hails on its smart phone app by delivering up to three free ice cream bars. The firm’s management claims it is just part of a 400-city-wide early celebration of National Ice Cream Day, July 17th; but the Associated Press observed that the stunt was part of Uber’s ploy to continue pursuing its so-far “failed…bid to expand into Upstate New York.”

WNYIL’s advocates will further expose this “promotion” as an attempt to distract the public from Uber’s cavalier disregard of the needs of citizens with disabilities at a Press Conference, to be held TODAY, Friday July 15th at 1:00 PM, in front of its 3108 Main Street office, by Highgate Avenue, in Buffalo’s University District. Any community leaders who share our concerns for their constituents with disabilities are invited to sign up to speak by calling Todd Vaarwerk at (716) 836-0822, ext. 101.

We look to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which bars discrimination by commercial enterprises — such as on-demand transportation services. Our advocates would not be opposed to the entry of Uber, nor its competitor Lyft, into Upstate New York IF they would provide legally enforceable guarantees that the needs of all riders with disabilities were met. We have reason to doubt their intent, as the legislation they first promoted expressly excluded the accommodation of customers with disabilities, a loophole that was removed in negotiations with lawmakers. Where it currently operates in New York City, there are no accessible Uber cars. Unless the passenger can get his or her own equipment into the vehicle’s trunk, they are told to find rides elsewhere. Also, there have been instances of consumers with service animals – required by law to be allowed in any public or commercial area — who were refused rides, as Uber drivers use their personal vehicles.

The New York State Legislature ended its 2015-2016 session without the Senate and Assembly reaching an accord on the details of insurance coverage required in order to permit network transportation companies to serve Upstate New York. However, there is strong support in Albany to allow their operation beyond New York City. We feel the ice cream promotion is a calculated strategy to induce the public to pressure their legislators, and get them to concur on Upstate expansion, without regard for the needs of their fellow citizens with disabilities.

We advocates ask you: please don’t fall for it — don’t sell out our access for ice cream!

Accessible Housing and Disability Resources Site


WNY Independent Living’s BIP Innovation Team and Independent Living Centers of Erie, Niagara and Genesee Regions
would like to present accessible housing information and resources for people with disabilities throughout Western New York!

Housing Lists include: Lockport Area, Niagara Falls Area (Niagara County, North Tonawanda Area and many more!

Click HERE for more information!!

WNY Independent Living, Inc. Family of Agencies

Visit us online:
WNY Independent Living, Inc.
3108 Main St. Buffalo, New York 14214

New Website to Support Accessible Public Transportation Service

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The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC), the Federal Transit Administration’s newest technical assistance center, has launched a new website to provide easy access to a wealth of useful resources and information. The NADTC, which promotes the availability and accessibility of transportation options that serve the needs of people with disabilities, older adults, and caregivers, focuses on leveraging FTA’s Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities (Section 5310) formula grants and other transit investments.

The clearinghouse offers the most valuable resources created through FTA’s investments in technical assistance supporting accessibility and mobility. Visit the site for free resources that support the work of public transportation, from front-line operators to board members. The website also offers online community forums, registration for upcoming distance learning opportunities such as webinars and online courses, and links to grant opportunities.

Since the launch, the Center has responded to hundreds of requests from FTA grantees, communities and the riding public for information, technical assistance and support in understanding best practices and leveraging resources.

Transportation Access and Experiences Survey – Please share widely!

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You are invited to participate in a national survey titled, Transportation Access and Experiences, which is designed to improve understanding of accessibility of public transportation for people with disabilities. Responses to the survey will be used to make improvements at regional and national levels.

If you are a person with a disability, you can take the survey by visiting

The researchers are looking for as many responses as possible. So, please feel free to forward this survey along to people in your network who have a disability.

This survey is being conducted by the ADA Participation Action Research Consortium (ADA-PARC), a collaborative research project of seven ADA Regional Centers. Learn more at

If you have any questions or comments regarding this survey, please contact Jill Bezyak from the Rocky Mountain ADA Center at

Thank you in advance for your participation in this important research and for helping to spread the word.