.25 Accessibility and Non-Discrimination.

A. For purposes of this regulation, “Accessible” 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. By July 1, 2016, a carrier or TNC that operates five or more vehicles under its permit shall:

(1) Ensure that the company’s websites and mobile applications are accessible to the blind and visually impaired and the deaf and hard of hearing; and

(2) Provide a report to the Commission Staff, on how the company intends to increase access to wheelchair accessible public or private vehicle-for-hire service to individuals with disabilities.

C. A company that provides for-hire transportation, including a Transportation Network Company shall not:

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

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

D. If an owner, operator, or Transportation Network Operator accepts a ride request from a passenger with a disability who uses a mobility device, upon picking up the passenger, the operator or Transportation Network Operator shall stow the passenger’s mobility equipment in the vehicle if the vehicle is capable of stowing the equipment.

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

F. All companies that provide for-hire transportation, and all Transportation Network Operators, shall comply with all applicable laws related to accommodation of service animals.

G. All companies that provide for-hire transportation, including Transportation Network Companies, shall provide their drivers detailed information and appropriate training regarding the requirements of laws governing non-discrimination and accessibility, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, prior to allowing them to provide service to passengers to the extent applicable.

H. By July 1 of each year, a carrier or TNC that operates five or more vehicles under its permit , shall report to the Commission Staff:

(1) the steps it has taken during the preceding twelve months to ensure and upgrade the accessibility of the company’s services; and

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

I. Transportation Network Companies, Transportation Network Operators, owners, and operators 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.

J. The Maryland Office of People’s Counsel shall have access to the reports filed under §§B and H of this regulation, upon request.