By Emily Bloch,Associated PressHealth officials are urging the U.S. to adopt a new rule requiring a passenger to show proof of identity and proof of insurance to ride public transit.
In 2016, a federal court ordered New York City to adopt the rule by the end of the year.
But, the city hasn’t yet started enforcing the rule.
The rule is aimed at making it easier for people to use public transit and make it easier to get around without having to show identification, said Jennifer Johnson, an assistant commissioner of the Transportation Department’s Bureau of Public Works.
Public transit advocates say it would be a boon to the nation’s urban centers that have been struggling to find ways to attract and retain workers and workers with disabilities.
“If we get this rule in place and have the public transportation systems in every city in this country, that will really be the single greatest step forward for mobility for people in the country,” said Karen Smith, executive director of the Disability Rights Advocates Network.
The new rule requires passengers to present a driver’s license or passport as proof of identification at the point of boarding.
The department also is making it harder to get a ticket by asking drivers to present their hands and feet, and mandating that they use their hands or feet only to get through the ticketing system.
The change could also help to address the problem of people with disabilities not getting on public transit at all, said David J. Greenfield, an associate professor of transportation policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“It is a way to make it a little bit easier for us to get them on public transportation,” Greenfield said.
Public transportation systems have been the focus of national attention after the 2016 fatal stabbing of a woman who was riding a New York-bound train with her two young children on the tracks.
New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo, who is running for president, has said the state is trying to make its transit systems more accessible to people with mobility issues.
New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie has called for eliminating the state’s “dead end” ticketing program for drivers who cannot provide proof of their ID.
The Transportation Department has also begun implementing a new fingerprinting program in New York that would allow people with identification to buy tickets.