Thursday, October 20, 2016

Build Your Own Transportation Toolbox

MCIL Workshop on Transportation Options

By Christina Clift
MATAplus operator and bus
On Thursday, September 15, 2016 members of the community were given the opportunity to build their own Transportation Toolbox by attending a workshop on Transportation Options at the Memphis Center for Independent Living.  During the two hour workshop attendees were reacquainted to familiar transportation options and introduced to new ones.  MCIL knows that access to affordable, reliable, and accessible transportation is a barrier for the disability community and by holding this workshop we hope to provide information to assist you in getting where you want to go.

Over the past two years the transportation landscape in Memphis has gradually started to change.  It now consists of traditional options such as Memphis Area Rideshare, Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA), MIFA, and taxi cabs, but now includes new providers such as Uber and Lyft, Point A 2 Point B Transportation Inc., Midsouth Express Shuttle, Prosperity Transportation, and Strong One Transportation.  These new providers are providing low-cost transportation options to people with disabilities and going into areas that our current public transportation does not.  While not all of these new providers have wheelchair accessible vehicles in their fleet, they all indicated that it is a priority for their company to purchase one as soon as possible. 

Veronica MacKinney says, “Having  wheelchair accessible vehicles will truly broaden the transportation options for all people with disabilities and will begin to challenge MATA in providing better service.”  While the Memphis Area Transit Authority was invited and agreed to attend during this workshop, they did not show up.  So our attendees were not able to examine the new vehicles or find out about the changes MATA’s done over the past year to improve service.

Below you will find brief information about each of the providers that attended:

Memphis Area Rideshare: Sonya Owens
Phone: (901) 222-9000

Offers emergency rides home for persons whose primary transportation to and from work is by bus or carpool.  You can apply online by visiting  Wheelchair accessible vehicles are currently available for wheelchair users who use this program. 
Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA): LaBarbara Houston
Phone: (901) 722-7138

Operates fixed route buses, paratransit (MATAplus), and trolley services seven days a week.  Fares range between .80-$5.10 one-way depending on the mode of transportation you use.  
Memphis Express Shuttle and Touring Service
Phone: (901) 356-1719
Fares begin at $7.00 one-way.  They have a wheelchair accessible vehicle.  Reservations should be made at least one day in advance.
MIFA: Monique BaldridgePhone: (901) 527-0208
Point A 2 Point B Transportation Inc.: Phylantyniese Stone
Phone: (901) 216-5437

Operates Monday through Saturday from 6:00 AM to 11:30 PM.  Reservations must be made three days in advance.  Rates are $5.00 one-way
Prosperity Trans1. Inc.:
Phone: (901) 833-3656

Fares range between $7.00-$20.00 one-way depending on where you are picked up or dropped off.

Strong One Transportation: Cassandra Strong

Phone: (901) 833-7152

Operates between 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM seven days a week.  Reservations must be made at least one-day in advance of your trip.  Rates range between $5.00-$9.00 per leg depending on the length of your trip.
Uber and Lyft are rideshare services that connect individuals to transportation through the use of smartphone apps.  Individuals must download and install the app on their smartphone device and register.  Both services provide same-day transportation but currently do not have any wheelchair accessible vehicles in the Memphis area.  Fares are based upon the miles and time your ride takes.

MCIL will continue to monitor the progress of these new transportation providers as well as traditional providers to ensure access for all.  Please contact us if you have any problems or for more information.