3 Resources to Help With Booking Accessible Transportation

Brianna Albers avatar

by Brianna Albers |

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It can be difficult to get around a metropolitan area, especially when you’re in a wheelchair or otherwise disabled. Thankfully, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) addresses the issue of accessible transportation. To read more about the ADA’s impact on accessible transportation throughout the United States, check out the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration

Public transportation, while occasionally accessible, can sometimes be a risk; you may not know until you get there if your transit of choice is uniquely suited to your disability. Fortunately, there are ways to circumvent this uncertainty. We’ve compiled a list of resources, with help from KD Smart Chair

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Look into ride-sharing services.
Businesses like Uber and Lyft are making it easier to essentially “rent” someone’s accessible vehicle. Just make a request via either company’s mobile app and your driver will swing by to pick you up — and, of course, drop you off at your destination.

It’s important to note that accessible ride-sharing services are not available in every metropolitan area.

Uber users can request accessible vehicles via UberWAV and UberASSIST, both of which operate in specific cities throughout the country. Check out Uber’s website for more information.

Lyft, in partnership with local accessible vehicle dispatch services, offers city-bound paratransit taxi services for people with disabilities in several states. Lyft’s website includes a great resource list, with names of and phone numbers for local dispatch services.

Private companies, like SuperShuttle, offer transportation to and from local airports.
While more expensive than ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft, SuperShuttle offers a wider variety of options, from their shared ride system to the luxury ExecuCar; however, reservations must be made in advance.

Contrary to popular belief, there are accessible taxicabs out there — you just need to find them.
Fortunately, the Access Travel Center has put together a comprehensive list of wheelchair-accessible taxicab companies, updated monthly. If you’re unsure as to whether a taxicab company offers accessible transportation, give them a call, or check out their website for details regarding the accessibility of their services.

Most city-wide transit systems are legally required to observe ADA regulations. If you can’t find pertinent information on the city’s website, or just want to ensure that your specific needs will be met, ask to speak with someone about the accessibility of their public transportation. Many cities have an entire department dedicated to accessibility issues.

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