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  • How do you manage unreliable transportation

    Posted by deann-r on October 13, 2023 at 9:33 am

    Living in a relatively small town, transportation has always been challenging for wheelchair users. Public transportation can be an option if you don’t need a ride after business hours, on weekends or holidays. Forget having a social life. I guess they do run on Saturday provided you schedule in advance. You might as well plan everything in advance as an extra $1 is added to same day reservations. Have a medical appointment out of town? Good luck with that.

    Fortunately, an accessible vehicle has always been available through my parents. After my dad passed away in 2015, we traded in our full-size van with mechanical lift for a 2010 minivan with a rear fold out ramp. It has served us well over the last 7 years apart from needing to replace the transmission 2 years ago.

    Over the past couple months, the van occasionally won’t start. It sounds like it’s trying but just won’t rev up all the way. Later, from an hour to a day, it starts just fine. Two different mechanics have looked at it, but since it hasn’t acted up while they’ve had it, they can’t diagnose the problem.
    Although it has always started when I’ve been with, I would be in a pickle if it didn’t. That means I’m only going somewhere when I can have a backup option. Basically Mon-Fri no later than 5. Yay! It makes Mom nervous driving it too, but at least if she gets stranded again, she can hitch a ride with my sister or a friend.

    Here’s my real dilemma. At the end of October, I have my annual neurology visit and physical therapy assessment to continue with Evrysdi. Seven transportation companies have already declined as my insurance doesn’t reimburse enough for long trips like this, they don’t have drivers or they choose not to return a phone call. Even though I don’t like to be a bother I can probably have a friend take a day off to drive the unreliable van. Do I love the idea? No. Do I have other options? You tell me.

    alyssa-silva replied 6 months ago 3 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • alyssa-silva

    Member
    October 15, 2023 at 7:52 pm

    Ugh I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Car troubles are such a headache. This may be a little costly, but could you rent a wheelchair-accessible van for the day? I remember I had to do that once in college to get to my classes for the week. Not sure if this would be an option for you. Just trying to get creative.

    • deann-r

      Member
      October 16, 2023 at 11:57 am

      The thought did cross my mind. I’m not aware of anything like that available in my area. What do you look up? Knock on wood, the van has been starting, so we might chance it.

  • dennis-turner

    Member
    October 17, 2023 at 5:00 pm

    Funny you should post this.

    My wife and I rented an accessible van to visit our sons who live in Texas. We own a van with about 117,000 miles, but decided to pay in case of any challenges along the way. Massachusetts is home.

    Safe trip so far, have had a couple minor issues with the car. Door with ramp would not open one night for about 15 minutes, door with ramp wouldn’t close (couple times), but using a nation wide provider means they can replace it if something really bad does happen. We used Mobility Works, but i don’t know if they are anywhere near you.

    Transportation challenges should be simple to fix considering how expensive everything else is, from medical equipment, to drugs, to caregivers. Although it does not seem that way.

    • alyssa-silva

      Member
      October 18, 2023 at 11:20 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience Dennis. My parents and I have always toyed with the idea of doing something similar. We’d like to travel but don’t want to put the wear and tear on our van. Would you recommend it? We use MobilityWorks too. That’s where I got my van from.

    • deann-r

      Member
      October 19, 2023 at 10:02 am

      Sounds like a fun trip. I have friends who rent vehicles for trips so it makes sense. Did you have to reserve it way in advance?

  • dennis-turner

    Member
    October 19, 2023 at 6:10 pm

    Yes, I would definitely recommend it. It can be hard on both the driver and the wheelchair user (me), but we get to spend time together and see areas we haven’t seen before without killing our own van or having my chair damaged by airlines.

    We did reserve the van a couple of months in advance, but I don’t think that was necessary.

    My wife had a work conference in Texas and two of our sons live out here so, bonus.

    • alyssa-silva

      Member
      October 20, 2023 at 3:35 pm

      I’m getting the itch to travel from this topic. Did you have to specify that you were renting the van for a road trip?

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