Wednesday, May 24, 2017

TRAVEL TIPS: What if there is no accessible transit available?

Though we fly to about half of our destinations, most of our trips turn out to be road trips once we get there.  We'll also end up in places that have no decent accessible public transportation, usually in rural areas.  Places like Montana, Kansas, Maine, etc. 

Watch the Video!

At that point, we recognize that we need to have a rental car.  Accessible vans are available from companies like Wheelchair Getaways and Wheelchair Van Rentals but the cost...with mileage, tax, gas added...can come up to around $200 a day.  That's a big budget buster.

In our case, we decide before we leave if the local transportation at our destination will be friendly for a power chair.  If it is not, or we have any doubt at all, we'll leave the power chair at home and take Tim's manual chair.  When we do that and we need a car, we'll rent a standard car, put the manual chair in the trunk, and Tim will ride in the front seat.

The major drawbacks to this are that a) Tim needs to be lifted in to and out of the car; b) we need to get a large enough car, meaning it costs more than a basic rental; and c) I need to push Tim everywhere...he loses his independence with the manual chair.  The tradeoff is that we are free to come and go as we please (not dependent on transit schedules) and the cost is less than half of the wheelchair van.

(Edited to add that Tim has since acquired a lightweight, folding power chair so he can now have some of that independence back - Ed)

The video above demonstrates how we do this on a trip.  I'm not saying it'll work for all disabled people, but this is how we solve the problem.

Copyright 2010 - Darryl Musick

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