For commutes in Pittsburgh to be seamless, welcoming, and intuitive, we must ensure that residents and visitors to the city with disabilities have access to multiple forms of transportation, just as those without disabilities do. Our idea brings accessible ride-sharing to Pittsburgh through strategic partnerships, and by establishing a community of practice, accelerating a market for this much-needed service. This will allow those with disabilities utilize flexible, on-demand transportation services regardless of physical or intellectual impairment. The demand is there, yet it does not exist – our solution changes that.
To implement our solution in Pittsburgh, we have partnered with Mobility 4 All (M4A), a technology platform focused on addressing the unique needs of riders with disabilities. M4A is a start-up mobility management company based in Minnesota, whose mission is to provide high quality, safe and cost effective transportation for people with disabilities. The platform acknowledges the role that caregivers play in the lives of those with disabilities, and understands how riders with disabilities differ from traditional riders. It provides the ability for caregivers to schedule rides for people with disabilities, and to load payment for rides onto the app.
Achieva is another partner and ally for our solution to be successfully implemented. As a local nonprofit organization that provides services through the entire life-span of people with disabilities, they’re very interested in improving transportation needs for the clients that they serve. In this respect, they will serve as a testing partner, though we also plan to provide our service to riders with disabilities outside their population.
Our team serves as the intermediaries and platform builders, bringing together these key partners to successfully pilot our solution in Pittsburgh. We are poised to build the infrastructure necessary to implement our solution here. We will be responsible for hiring drivers, and training them to understand the needs of riders with disabilities. The drivers will be trained not only to assist riders inside the vehicle, but also to provide any other assistance needed – for example, getting out of their house, or into their destination. We will implement the pilot, capturing data and user feedback, allowing us to iterate and expand based on information that we collect. We will build a community of drivers, riders, and advocates of people with disabilities in Pittsburgh who can champion our solution and help it grow to meet its fullest potential.