Two things that have enhanced Jon’s life are the Washington subway system, which opened in 1976, and the Washington Nationals baseball team, which arrived in 2005. He navigates the subway expertly, riding it to the Nationals ballpark.Public transportation is, if you ask me, one of the wonders of the modern age. Trains, subways, and buses made modern urban life possible and keep it sustainable. They are a particular boon to the disabled. Public transportation makes it possible for the blind, deaf, and wheelchair bound to get around independently, which is one reason why the disabled congregate in cities.
Public transportation is also very expensive. The Washington Metro's latest scheme, to separate the Blue Line from the Orange Line across the city and add a station in Georgetown, would cost at least $6 billion. (That was the initial estimate, and you all know what happens to those initial numbers.) To build California's proposed high speed rail system would cost at least $70 billion.
If we are serious about making it possible for the disabled to live full, productive lives, though, these are the investments we need to make. Only governments can make them, and only by paying for them out of tax revenues.