Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council's Position Transportation

What does MODDC think about transportation?

Good public and private transportation helps people in many ways. People need transportation for all kinds of things. Without good transportation, people can’t:

  • Take part in their communities
  • Go to their jobs
  • Go vote
  • Visit their friends and make new friends
  • Shop for the things they need
  • See the doctor
  • Reach community-based services 

So, Missouri should make sure all people have more choices to meet their transportation needs. Missouri should also make sure transportation is accessible for people with disabilities.

Why is it important? 

Research shows that good transportation helps everybody. Good transportation especially helps people with disabilities. Transportation helps them:

  • Get jobs
  • Live on their own
  • Make friends
  • Be healthier
  • Have a better life

Good transportation is also extra helpful for older adults, and people in rural places.

Other research looked at people who didn’t have access to transportation. It found that they had a harder time finding and keeping a job. They got fewer chances to see friends and family. They missed out on events and activities happening in their communities. They made less money, and enjoyed their lives less.

Even though we know how important good transportation is, many people still don’t have it.

One in 10 Americans have a disability that makes it hard for them to travel. Millions of others can’t get to safe, accessible transportation where they live.

This problem is especially bad in Missouri. Missouri spends less money on transportation than 46 other states. It also spends much less than its neighbors. Kansas and Nebraska spend 9 times more on transportation per person. Iowa spends 14 times more per person. And Illinois spends over 1,000 times more on transportation per person than Missouri. 

Some states already have programs to help people get good transportation. For example, Michigan gives people with disabilities pre-paid passes for transportation. People can even use them to pay for their friends to take them places. Most of the people who used the program said it met all their transportation needs. They said it helped them feel happy, independent, and a bigger part of their communities. 

What should Missouri do? 

  • Missouri needs to understand that transportation is important for everyone. It helps people work, have friends, get health care, and be part of their community. Transportation needs to be safe, easy to get, and accessible.
  • Missouri should work with states that have good transportation policies. Missouri should use what they’ve learned to help Missourians get better transportation.
  • There are many groups in Missouri that already help people get transportation. These groups should talk to each other and work together. This will let them help more people while using less money and resources.
  • The state agency in charge of Vocational Rehabilitation in Missouri is MO DESE. MO DESE should help people with disabilities get jobs giving others transportation. For example, someone with a disability could work as a bus or rideshare driver. They should focus on doing this in places without public transportation.
  • The Missouri Department of Transportation should look for U.S. grants to help pay for transportation projects. They should help different government groups share resources for transportation.
  • Missouri should put money into different kinds of transportation, and tell people about them. These can be things like:
    • Carpooling (when many people drive together instead of separately)
    • Car and bike sharing (community owned bikes and cars that people can borrow and use)
    • Dedicated bike lanes (bike lanes that are separate from the road to keep bicyclists safe)
    • Accessible sidewalks (sidewalks that are safe to use for people with different disabilities) 
  • Missouri should put money into new transportation technology like self-driving cars. They should also try to build more on-demand transportation. On-demand transportation is when you can schedule and get transportation quickly, at any time. 
  • Missouri should look into laws that protect people who give transportation to people with disabilities. These are a kind of law called “Good Samaritan” laws.