.23 Accessibility and Nondiscrimination.

A. For purposes of this regulation, ďaccessibleĒ means fully and equally accessible to and independently usable by individuals with disabilities so that the individuals are able to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as users without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use.

B. A taxicab association:

(1) Shall ensure that the taxicab associationís websites, mobile applications, and rear-seat payment center are accessible to the blind and visually impaired and the deaf and hard of hearing; and

(2) May not:

(a) Impose additional or special charges on an individual with a disability for providing services to accommodate the individual; or

(b) Require an individual with a disability to be accompanied by an attendant.

C. If a taxicab accepts a ride request from a passenger with a disability who uses a mobility device, upon picking up the passenger, the taxicab driver shall stow the passengerís mobility equipment in the vehicle if the vehicle is capable of stowing the equipment.

D. If a passenger or driver determines that the vehicle is not capable of stowing the equipment, the taxicab association may not charge a trip cancellation fee or, if such fee is charged, shall provide the passenger with a refund in a timely manner.

E. All taxicabs shall comply with all applicable laws related to accommodation of service animals.

F. All taxicab associations shall provide their drivers detailed information and appropriate training regarding the requirements of laws governing nondiscrimination and accessibility, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, prior to allowing them to provide service to passengers to the extent applicable.

G. By July 1 of each year, a taxicab association shall report to the Public Service Commission staff:

(1) The steps it has taken during the preceding 12 months to ensure and upgrade the accessibility of the taxicab associationís services; and

(2) The number of complaints or other notifications received regarding an inability or failure to accommodate a person with a disability.

H. Taxicab associations that provide platforms allowing drivers to rate passengers shall ensure that such ratings are not based on unlawful discrimination, and that drivers do not discriminate against passengers or potential passengers on the basis of geographic endpoints of the ride, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, or sexual orientation/identity.

I. The Maryland Office of Peopleís Counsel shall have access to the reports filed under this section, upon request.