Using public transportation for persons with disabilities is a viable option during travel in the United States. Some of us cannot drive or are not willing to rent a car for various reasons. Using taxis can become expensive. Public transportation is inexpensive, accessible and helps us to learn more about our destination as well as the people who live in the area.
Since the cost of a cab vs. public transportation is at least 10 times the cost, visitors to cities with convenient buses, trains, trolleys, etc. may choose public transportation. Public transportation in many areas, such as Washington D.C., offer discount fares to people with disabilities. Add to the fact that the wait time for a taxi cab that is accessible can be longer that a non-accessible cab, persons with disabilities may chose a bus over a cab, even when they travel.
When you ride a local train as a tourist, you’re more likely to get into conversations with locals. You may learn about a hidden gem of a restaurant, a free show at a park, or other tidbits of travel information you won’t find in a travel guide. You get more of a “local feel” for the area because you’re not surrounded by tourists. You’ll see the areas of your destination that most travelers don’t, including the neighborhoods, business districts and other off the beaten track locales. Since public transportation is accessible, like in Charlotte, NC, there’s no need to transfer from your wheelchair or scooter when using public transportation, which saves time and energy. This also allows for more solo travel.
Many times, discounts are available for public transportation, especially for tourists, as more cities are encouraging use of their railways and buses. Try to research in advance of your trip for passes and specials. For example, New Orleans offers a Jazzy Pass in increments of 1 day and 31 days.
You can find information on each state’s public transportation system, by searching through the American Public Transportation Association website’s links. Have you had any experience with using public transportaion when you traveled?
Connie Roberts is a professional blogger who makes it her mission to advocate for people with medical issues. Travel with a disability is not a struggle, but an opportunity to see the world and let others see that it’s possible and a lot of fun. Tweet with her @ConnieFoggles.