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Thread: New York City for the disabled traveller

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by mrb View Post
    I appreciate the comments but have enough experience of travelling to know that I start from worst case scenario, plan for that and you should always be able to have a good time. First job is to work out which area/hotel along with transport options. Knowing how difficult it is in London navigating the underground and amount of time you can waste in stations trying to get from one line to another is something I would like to avoid for a vacation, the last thing I want to do is spoil my wife's vacation spending it trying to get around a subway station
    Never used the underground in London, but a quick look online shows a similar number of metro stations and underground stations are inaccessible, so imagine it is roughly as difficult/easy to get around on both. Don't know if the UK has anything like the Americans with Disabilities Act, but this has been largely irrelevant for the NYC metro.

  2. #32
    One big difference in London is that cabs are wheelchair accessible and "hailable." Yes, they are expensive, but reliable and get you from point A to point B without drama and a lot of extra preparation and expense.

    When New York City was reviewing new generation cabs to replace yellow cabs, it had a chance to make the whole fleet wheelchair accessible, but that didn't happen. Sad!

  3. #33
    London cabs are accessible in some chairs, as I found out when travelling to a meeting not power chairs. Had to ask my client to move the meeting to somewhere near train station I arrived in, hardly very professional on my part. Had a potential problem on train, I got up the ramp but corridor was too narrow to negotiate using my chin control, support worker had to move chair manually. Underground is a nightmare, very easy to get stuck trying to change lines. We do have Accessibility legislation but as I commented earlier an $8m refurbishment to one station still requires ramps to be used, a joke in 2018!

  4. #34
    I recall arriving in Chicago at O'Hare Airport many years ago for business meetings the next day. NL had done tons of leg work, checking double checking, and confirming that a new wheelchair shuttle service to downtown would be available, ordered, and confirmed for our early evening arrival. We retrieved our luggage (a considerable amount) and made our way to the designated shuttle pick up location. The shuttle was not waiting. Not to panic, wait a while, we were probably 10 minutes early. 45 minutes later, no shuttle. No cell phones then, found a pay phone, called the service, and we were assured the shuttle was on its way. 30 minutes later, called again, and we were assured it would be there in 15 minutes. 25 minutes later, no shuttle, called the service again and were greeted with profuse apologies that the shuttle wouldn't be coming to pick us up, and couldn't we just get a cab at the taxi rank.

    Fortunately, I wasn't using a power chair at the time and I was in my foldable travel wheelchair. We went to the taxi rank, and after talking to three cabbies, the fourth one said he could accommodate our luggage and would allow me to ride in the front seat. NL transferred me into the front seat of the cab, our luggage was loaded in the trunk and in the back seat with NL. We finally got to our hotel, downtown, about 11:00 PM.

    The next two days, I had meetings. NL spent a good portion of the first day in Chicago in our hotel room trying to track down the problem we experienced with the shuttle. She finally made her way to the top and had a discussion with the chief operating officer of the shuttle service. He profusely apologized and assured her the shuttle and he would be at our hotel the next afternoon to pick us up and transport us to the airport for our next flight.

    The next day, we had arranged that the shuttle would arrive at the hotel at 4:00 PM. When we got down to the front entrance of the hotel, the shuttle bus (like an airport to hotel shuttle bus) was waiting with the driver, the CEO of the service, and the ramp deployed. We loaded on to the bus and happily were on our way to the airport. The only passengers onboard. The CEO had a dozen red roses for NL and a bottle of Vueve Clicquot Brut Champagne as an apology. I'm not sure that was enough to sooth her very ruffled feathers, but it was a gracious gesture.

    To this day, I wonder what we would have done at 11:00 PM on a cold, dark, late night at the airport, if I had been using a power chair that would have limited our flexibility in transportation alternatives. I think I still have nightmares about sleeping in my chair in the airport!

  5. #35
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Something similar happened to me/us recently on our trip to Miami Beach. We had reserved SuperShuttle for transportation from Ft. Lauderdale airport/hotel, and return. About an hour before our pickup time to return to the airport, we received a call that the ONE lift-equipped van in the fleet (in ALL of the Miami area) had broken down, and they had nothing available for us other then give us a number to a taxi company. Fortunately after several calls we were able to find a wheelchair-accessible taxi, but without that, or with further delay, we would have missed our flight.

  6. #36
    Both reminders that even the best planning can go wrong! Sadly no way to avoid situations like that and we still need to be resourceful when it happens. I'm actually finding it easier to do the logistics for getting to the top of a mountain and coming down a mountain bike downhill course than a trip abroad.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    I recall arriving in Chicago at O'Hare Airport many years ago for business meetings the next day. NL had done tons of leg work, checking double checking, and confirming that a new wheelchair shuttle service to downtown would be available, ordered, and confirmed for our early evening arrival. We retrieved our luggage (a considerable amount) and made our way to the designated shuttle pick up location. The shuttle was not waiting. Not to panic, wait a while, we were probably 10 minutes early. 45 minutes later, no shuttle. No cell phones then, found a pay phone, called the service, and we were assured the shuttle was on its way. 30 minutes later, called again, and we were assured it would be there in 15 minutes. 25 minutes later, no shuttle, called the service again and were greeted with profuse apologies that the shuttle wouldn't be coming to pick us up, and couldn't we just get a cab at the taxi rank.

    Fortunately, I wasn't using a power chair at the time and I was in my foldable travel wheelchair. We went to the taxi rank, and after talking to three cabbies, the fourth one said he could accommodate our luggage and would allow me to ride in the front seat. NL transferred me into the front seat of the cab, our luggage was loaded in the trunk and in the back seat with NL. We finally got to our hotel, downtown, about 11:00 PM.

    The next two days, I had meetings. NL spent a good portion of the first day in Chicago in our hotel room trying to track down the problem we experienced with the shuttle. She finally made her way to the top and had a discussion with the chief operating officer of the shuttle service. He profusely apologized and assured her the shuttle and he would be at our hotel the next afternoon to pick us up and transport us to the airport for our next flight.

    The next day, we had arranged that the shuttle would arrive at the hotel at 4:00 PM. When we got down to the front entrance of the hotel, the shuttle bus (like an airport to hotel shuttle bus) was waiting with the driver, the CEO of the service, and the ramp deployed. We loaded on to the bus and happily were on our way to the airport. The only passengers onboard. The CEO had a dozen red roses for NL and a bottle of Vueve Clicquot Brut Champagne as an apology. I'm not sure that was enough to sooth her very ruffled feathers, but it was a gracious gesture.

    To this day, I wonder what we would have done at 11:00 PM on a cold, dark, late night at the airport, if I had been using a power chair that would have limited our flexibility in transportation alternatives. I think I still have nightmares about sleeping in my chair in the airport!


    How long ago was this?? One could stay at a great hotel say on the Blue line and take it right from the Airport to your hotel...there are 18 stops that are wheelchair accessible.

    http://www.transitchicago.com/blueline/





    Uber WAV is in Chicago, and Supershuttle now works like Uber that you can follow your Van as you land it knows you have arrived and you see the driver on your smart phone app in route. It will alert you once the van is there!


  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by landrover View Post
    Something similar happened to me/us recently on our trip to Miami Beach. We had reserved SuperShuttle for transportation from Ft. Lauderdale airport/hotel, and return. About an hour before our pickup time to return to the airport, we received a call that the ONE lift-equipped van in the fleet (in ALL of the Miami area) had broken down, and they had nothing available for us other then give us a number to a taxi company. Fortunately after several calls we were able to find a wheelchair-accessible taxi, but without that, or with further delay, we would have missed our flight.
    Supershuttle out sources there wheelchair vans to independent contractors but anytime we use them we call on the way to Phoenix airport and confirm they have us scheduled and they radio dispatchers to make sure vans are working.

    When we fly with two power chairs like you are asking the past the street chair and the offroad chair it takes to SuperShuttle vans but they only charge me for one.

    Plus now you can view your shuttle on your app though GPS it will notify you when your van is at the airport.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by RollPositive View Post
    Yeah it sounds like you have your mind made up so nothing I am going to say will change it...

    I have heard people in our community hyper focused on the negatives and that makes it rough to figure out ways of making things happen.

    In our world we become masters at problem solving! Each of his have figured ways to do some of the most basic task with unique ideas...now the world calls then "hacks".

    We have friends that live there so when we plan to go out and meet we get to any place and one else goes!

    Plus I think if you believe something enough you can will it to be the truth.

    Life is never going to be equal so why worry about? Just enjoy it in whatever way you can...
    i don?t think I was hyper focusing on the negatives so much as giving objective date (75% of stations are inaccessible). That?s the kind of information the OP requested to help plan their trip. Just saying ?our community uses the subway system without any problems? is vague and potentially misleading it also doesn?t help at all with planning a trip to the city.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    i don?t think I was hyper focusing on the negatives so much as giving objective date (75% of stations are inaccessible). That?s the kind of information the OP requested to help plan their trip. Just saying ?our community uses the subway system without any problems? is vague and potentially misleading it also doesn?t help at all with planning a trip to the city.
    Looking bigger picture...my Wife and I have helped so many people with in our community travel successfully that never knew they could travel. We have received text, calls, pictures of people on there new found journeys.

    From weddings, vacations, business, holidays etc. What some dont understand is there are 1000's of views of this site, former WCJ, WCD even FB groups that will never post just view so they see all the negatives people put out about damaging charis, hotel issues, accessible/none accessible issue etc.

    Most are posted by people that never travel or travel very very rarely. These post along with the fear of problems convince themselves out of trying.

    Can we search out the facts that support our view point? 100% that's what the internet is built on!

    I understand what you are saying but 75% doesnt mean anything?

    The subway system in New York is over 100 years old and the cost of retrofitting stops is just not possible.

    Can it be better it sure can...but is it doable the way it is now absolutely!

    Just this post alone we have people posting that are giving input but haven't used the subway or post from an experience years ago but dont mention specific timelines like 20 years ago I was in Boston, 15 years ago in San Francisco?

    What some may not understand as time goes by some of the challenges are addressed and or technology comes to play and makes some of the issue more simple.

    When we help people with there own trips we only use our personal experience.

    I have a friend here who went to New York for the 1st time with his Wife we talked for several months and they got there whole trip set up.

    They didnt use the subway but used WOW cab and I think Uber and they had a great time.

    Point being is the subway is only one part of the New York City transportation system.

    People still have trains, cabs, buses, rental vans, ferries, boats etc.

    New York City can be very overwhelming just based on the density of the city, the volume of people moving around so don't let transportation add to that stress level.

    If one is not comfortable don't use it. But people need to know it is very usable in a power chair and or wheelchair.
    Last edited by RollinPositive; 03-25-2018 at 01:15 PM.

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