Washington, D.C. — The Transportation Alliance (formerly known as the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association) wrapped up its annual legislative fly-in on June 5, with transportation executives from around the country holding more than 50 policy briefings with members of Congress in an effort to begin a national dialogue on critical issues facing the for-hire transportation industry. The alliance’s two main priorities included:
1. Protecting non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). Each year, approximately 3.6 million Americans in urban and rural communities miss or delay receiving essential, non-emergency medical care due to transportation barriers. Provided through Medicaid, NEMT is a critical service for people who have no means of transportation to and from their medical appointments. NEMT is believed to save Medicaid $480M annually for every 30,000 recipients. The Transportation Alliance is urging Congress to pass legislation ensuring NEMT services remain protected.
2. Defending passenger safety for federally funded travel. More than 80 programs across the federal government are authorized to fund transportation services for individuals with disabilities, older adults, persons with lower incomes, and federal workers themselves in the performance of their jobs. The alliance is urging Congress to pass legislation requiring that drivers paid for with federal funds pass an FBI fingerprint-based background check and drug and alcohol screen.
“The Transportation Alliance knows the importance of passenger safety and NEMT, and we’re on Capitol Hill to make sure the voices of our members across the country are heard,” said alliance President Terry O’Toole of Transdev on Demand. “Good policy protects lives, and no one knows those best practices more than our members.”
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) spoke to fly-in attendees and delivered an impassioned speech about the need to protect NEMT services, praising the association “for not being stumbling blocks, but for being a stepping stone for our vulnerable populations … people who need so very desperately the help that you provide.”
Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) also spoke to the group about technology, including the need for a national policy framework for autonomous vehicles. She also called out the need to accelerate America’s technological advances, particularly in terms of electric vehicles.
“Other countries are investing in it, and we are lagging. I think it’s becoming a national security issue in how we’re beginning to lag in innovation and technology,” Dingell said at a breakfast briefing for members.
The Transportation Alliance’s next event will be its 101st Annual Convention and Trade Show in Las Vegas this October 16 to 19.
Visit tlpa.org for more information.