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Transit systems eye Uber, Lyft for savings on the disabled

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BOSTON, MA (AP) – Several U.S. transit systems including Boston and Washington are reaching out to ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to help defray the costs of providing service to disabled passengers.

Transit agencies are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act to offer specialized services, including door-to-door pickup and drop-off, for disabled or elderly people who are unable to access regular bus or train service.

Some advocates for the disabled are concerned about the proposals to use Uber and Lyft for paratransit, noting the ride-hailing industry itself has faced criticism, and even a handful of lawsuits, over accessibility. Uber and Lyft have said they are working to improve access for disabled passengers.

The American Public Transportation Association says paratransit costs exceed $5 billion nationally.