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  • Which Method of Public Transportation do you Prefer?

    Posted by kevin-schaefer on June 4, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Let me go ahead and say that I don’t have a ton of experience when it comes to public transportation services. Buses were always too shaky for me, especially when I was younger. I got better with them, but I still have apprehensions about going on them without someone there with me. I know, it’s a weird quirk I have. Then with things like Uber and Lyft, I just haven’t used them.

    Whenever I’m going out, I just have friends drive me in our old accessible van. We have an MV1 which is our primary one that my parents use, but they no longer drive the old one. As such, I’m free to use it whenever I want. Granted, it’s pretty used and it looks pretty crappy, but it still gets me where I need to go.

    For those of you who do use public transportation however, how do you do it? Do you prefer buses or something like Uber? Are they always good about accommodating you? For bus services, how much do you have to plan in advance? I’m looking into this more now, so I’d love to hear from you all about your experiences.

    kevin-schaefer replied 6 years ago 4 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • ryan-berhar-2

    Member
    June 4, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    I don’t have a lot of experience here either, but I do have some. On a recent trip to Portland, I used both the MAX (a train) and an Uber. Both worked well. I rolled right on and off the train with no issues. However, my dad and I didn’t have a clear understanding of which train went where. This should go without saying, but if you’re going to use a train, make sure you know exactly where it’s going haha. This mishap with the train was actually what led to us calling the Uber. The driver was really friendly and funny, so even though wandering around Portland in the middle of the night was not fun, it turned out to be a memorable experience. I also rode a school bus on and off throughout my schooling career. I didn’t care for it, because like Kevin said, they’re bumpy as all get out. It was important to have someone there to hold my head on bumpy turns. I will also say that having a good driver makes all the difference. I became good friends with a couple bus drivers—I’m still in contact with one to this day—but others are just super particular about everything, which is not only annoying, but it also makes it difficult if not impossible for me to ride the bus. For example, this one driver always made me drive onto the lift in reverse which was not easy. I also can’t really wear the seatbelt because it doesn’t allow me to recline which is necessary for me to swallow. I had to get a doctors note to avoid this issue. That about sums up my experience with public transportation. The only other thing I’d point out is that busses and trains are breeding grounds for germs, so I’d avoid them during cold and flu season.

    • kevin-schaefer

      Member
      June 5, 2018 at 12:59 pm

      Yeah I remember a bad experience I had with a bus one time during an elementary school field trip. It was just too jerky for me, and I ended up having to get off halfway through. It has gotten better since then, especially since I’ve put on more weight in recent years and can balance myself more. In college my Dad and I would ride the bus to football games, and that worked out well. But yeah, I still feel more comfortable in these situations when I’m with someone.

      That’s good you were able to try Uber. We did use a Taxi service when we were in New York a couple months ago to get to and from a museum. The ride there was smooth and I liked our driver; but the way back was much bumpier. It was a different driver, and I wasn’t as impressed with him as I was the guy who got us there.

      I know that the van which my friends drive me in won’t last forever, but I’ll take advantage of it while it’s still working.

  • deann-r

    Member
    June 4, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Where I live the public transportation is a bus. I would take it to and from work when I worked outside the home. I had to schedule a day in advance. As you said it’s a bit bumpy, and difficult to anticipate driving styles like how fast they accelerate, but I got used to it. I would purchase a pass that was good for so many rides.  They also have a route so if you didn’t call in advance you could still catch the route. Oh, and if you schedule the bus it’s common that they’re late, but for goodness sake you better be on time because they don’t wait.

    • kevin-schaefer

      Member
      June 5, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Yeah you gotta love that double standard. “It’s fine if I’m late regularly, but you had better be on time.”

      Did you feel that they were good about making sure you were secure inside the bus? And did you have an adequate amount of time to get settled? One concern I have is that sometimes it takes me a minute to adjust my chair and get into a good position. I understand that bus drivers have a schedule to keep, but I also need them to be patient with me.

  • adnan-hafizovic

    Member
    June 6, 2018 at 5:08 am

    For me the best public tranport is taxi for disability persons.He came at your house drive all the where you want.But my problem is that kind of taxi I haven`t in my town.Hey does anyone have experience with travel with aeroplane?

    • kevin-schaefer

      Member
      June 6, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Flying isn’t really an option for me. Unless they make it so we can remain in our chairs on the plane, it’s just too tricky for me and a lot of other SMA individuals. Staying in one of the seats on a plane is too uncomfortable for me, and I don’t trust airlines with my wheelchair. I’m glad the taxi service has worked for you though. Like I mentioned earlier I did use a taxi a couple times in New York recently.

    • deann-r

      Member
      June 6, 2018 at 10:58 am

      The only time I ever flew my dad had to lift me into a seat and we took my manual wheelchair.  I’m like Kevin, waiting for the time you can stay in your chair.  Pigs might fly before that happens I’m afraid.  If you do fly I’ve heard advice to take pictures of your chair beforehand, and take things like your cushion and headrest in your luggage or carry on so they don’t fall off in transit.  In the US I’ve heard Southwest Airlines has been decent.

      • kevin-schaefer

        Member
        June 6, 2018 at 11:27 am

        Yeah I flew once when I was a kid, but I’m not sure I could handle airplane seats today. And sadly yes, it will likely either be a long time or never before airlines let us use our chairs on planes.

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