Even before Transportation Alternatives’ formation in 1980, TA President Ned Einstein was deeply involved in transportation policy and planning issues involving physically challenged individuals. In 1975, Mr. Einstein prepared the Summary of the National Survey of Transportation Handicapped People submitted to Congress. This study led directly to the Carter Administration’s adoption of the policy known as “Full Accessibility” — the mandate to equip all transit buses with wheelchair lifts — an effort that pre-dated the formulation of the Americans with Disabilities Act by 15 years. Transportation Alternatives itself was then formed to conduct the USDOT’s first nationwide analysis of special transportation systems for elderly and disabled individuals, examining 30 systems in 18 U.S. cities. This study resulted in the Department’s publication of a three-volume manual on planning and system design authored by Mr. Einstein. This publication was USDOT’s effort to identify the variables which contributed to paratransit efficiency, effectiveness, reliability and safety, and described the interrelationships among dozens of system variables endemic to the paratransit planning and system design processes (see Principles of Paratransit Design).
Apart from TA’s system design, brokerage, management and operating efforts in the special paratransit field (see Operations and Operating Assistance and Transportation System Design), TA has been involved in a number of policy development, planning and study efforts related specifically to the transportation of physically and developmentally challenged individuals (see Policy Development and Analysis, Transportation Planning, Analysis and Studies, Coordination and Consolidation, and Transportation of Special User Groups).
In support of its ADA and related planning activities, TA President Ned Einstein has authored a number of articles specifically about the transportation of elderly and disabled individuals (as well as schoolchildren) for several national trade publications, including School Bus Fleet, School Transportation News and Exceptional Parent magazines. And TA has participated as a consultant and expert witness in scores of lawsuits (among more than 400 cases overall) involving disabled and other special users and their transportation services (see Safety Consulting and Expert Witness Services) including nearly 100 cases involving wheelchair and other mobility assistance device (walkers, canes, etc.) users.