Testimony on HB 2651 to the House Transportation Committee

Public Input Provided in 2011

April 20, 2011

House Transportation Committee
HB 2651 by Representative Allen

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) is established by federal law in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act and consists of a 27 member board, appointed by the Governor, 60% of whom are individuals with developmental disabilities or family members of individuals with disabilities. The Council is authorized in law to encourage policy change so that people with disabilities have opportunities to be fully included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives.

House Bill (HB) 2651 would amend the Transportation Code to allow for visitors with disabilities to use certain public transportation services in the area they are visiting. Although, this is a complicated issue it is an important issue for people with disabilities who reside and travel around Texas. Without access to reliable transportation in visiting areas people with disabilities are limited on where they are able to travel.

In 2009, there were an estimated 186 million visitors to destinations across the state.1 Texas’s billion dollar travel industry is limited by the inability of people with disabilities to fully participate due to lack of available transportation options.

HB 2651 would not only allow for people with disabilities access available transportation options across the state but would also allow for greater ease in emergency situations. Additionally, if this statute were enacted, it would make travel more available for persons with limited mobility, who would be better able to plan trips and travel without significant effort and/or advanced notice.

Transportation in Texas is more than just road systems and needs to include mobility for all Texans. HB 2651 would begin to address the mobility issue in Texas by allowing people with disabilities more access to transportation options while visiting outside a provider’s service area.

Respectfully Submitted,
Cassie Laws-Fisher
Public Policy Specialist
(512) 437-5432