Past President Dwight Kines (right) sat down with staff in Senator Benjamin Cardin’s office to discuss transportation-related legislative priorities.

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 “New York delegation” met with the office of Congressman Adriano Espaillat to talk about key transportation safety issues. Left to right: Lionel Morales, Bill Yunke, staff person, Avik Kabessa and Joel Giambra.

Those priorities include the following:

  • 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 $480 million annually for every 30,000 recipients. The Transportation Alliance is urging Congress to pass legislation ensuring NEMT services remain protected.
  • 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 Transportation 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 Terry O’Toole of Transdev on Demand and president of The Transportation Alliance. “Good policy protects lives, and no one knows those best practices more than our members.”

President Elect Tom Arrighi (left) and Executive Vice President John Boit (right) paid a visit to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office for a conversation on top transportation priorities for The Transportation Alliance.

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) spoke to fly-in attendees with 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,” Bishop said.

(From left to right) The Transportation Alliance President Terry O’Toole and Legislative Counsel Paul Miller discussed protecting Medicaid NEMT and passenger safety with staffers in Senator Pat Roberts office.

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.For more information about The Transportation Alliance, visit www.tlpa.org.

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