Shared Mobility Accessibility Study

At the October 15, 2020 BPAC meeting, Kerby Olsen, OakDOT Shared Mobility Coordinator, and Anh Nguyen, ADA Programs Manager, presented the findings and recommendations from the “Shared Mobility Accessibility Study”. Notes from the discussion are below.

View the full report here [46MB PDF].

Excerpt from the presentation and report:

Recommendations from Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program (BORP):

  • Increase outreach to specific groups and organize rides
  • Corrective action on bathrooms Increase ADA parking
  • Facilities to store bikes

Strategy 1: Reduce impacts to persons with disabilities traveling by other modes.

  • Improve bikeshare station placement
  • Require E-scooters to have lock-to technology
  • Establish designated scooter parking areas
  • Better E-scooter user education and enforcement
  • Require ride-hail drivers to use pick-up/drop-off areas

Strategy 2: Modify vehicle, device, or station design.

  • Require or incentivize alternative vehicle designs
  • Provide grants or subsidies for individuals to purchase their own adaptive vehicles
  • Improve physical access to bikeshare stations
  • Provide E-bikes in bikeshare program
  • Invest in accessible vehicle design modifications
  • For ride-hail, incentivize accessible vehicle owners to join platform

Strategy 3: Provide alternative service models.

  • Extend adaptive bike share program
  • For ride-hail, create a preferred driver certification program for drivers with disability-related trainings
  • Create options for at-home delivery of accessible vehicles
  • Guaranteed ride home for micro-mobility

Strategy 4: Expand user information and transaction opportunities.

  • Clearly define and disseminate information about accessible options
  • Require web accessibility analysis score of 90% or more for shared mobility apps
  • Integrate shared mobility into existing equity programs (i.e. discount transit passes)
  • Conduct in-person outreach to introduce new mobility options
  • Set company targets for digital accessibility
  • Provide clear information about accessible service options and how to request them
  • Provide payment options that do not require credit/smartphone

Strategy 5: Leverage new partnerships, planning and funding.

  • Incorporate new strategies for accessible shared mobility into planning efforts, such as East Oakland MAP
  • Increase WAVs in carshare/ride-hail through incentives to purchase
  • Identify existing WAVs and integrate those into shared mobility services
  • Fund an “Access for All” program through revenue from shared mobility trips (i.e. 10¢/trip), exempting providers with accessible services. Use this to fund accessible services or infrastructure

Summary of Discussion

  • Adding locking mechanisms to e-scooters has been a subject of debate, as it has cost implications for the operators but helps keep sidewalks clear of e-scooters.
  • With the debut of scooter share, BPAC received comments during Open Forum on the issue of scooters blocking sidewalks.
  • Service area is a key component of accessibility, and expanding service areas is an important strategy for OakDOT making shared mobility more accessible.
  • Because the services are operated by private companies, the City of Oakland is limited in its ability to determine how service is provided.
  • The Commission should consider the tradeoffs of the staff recommendations, and consider how progress is measured in the ongoing negotiation with the operators to expand service areas into East Oakland.

A motion to support the OakDOT recommendations from the Shared Mobility Accessibility Study and the upcoming changes to the e-scooter program was made (Parreiras), seconded (Jones), and approved with eight in favor and one abstention (Gardner).

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