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NYC wheelchair travel

Wallington, New...
posts: 1
NYC wheelchair travel

I will be going into NYC with a friend that is in a wheelchair. I want to go from Ground Zero to Rockefeller Center. Any suggestions?

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 27,597
reviews: 37
1. Re: NYC wheelchair travel

Mike, I'd post this on the NYC Forum which is here:

tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g60763-i5-New_York…

It's a long way uptown from Ground Zero, maybe an hour on the bus, and the subway system is all stairs, some elevators, many don't work. Don't count on the subway. I would take a taxi. Here's the map to show the distance. Balloon A is St Paul's Chapel where all the tribute offerings are on display. Ground Zero is close by.

http://goo.gl/maps/acGbs

You can refer to this thread by GreenWhiteBlue: tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g60763-i5-k405666-T…

And this is the transit system guide for New York http://newyork.hopstop.com/

2. Re: NYC wheelchair travel

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Removed on: 5:35 am, November 23, 2012
New York
posts: 16
reviews: 8
3. Re: NYC wheelchair travel

Hi

My name is Kevin and I am an English guy living for the past 13 years in New York City and Brooklyn, New York. I thought I'd write a quick advice piece to those of you traveling to NYC who have mobility issues, so that you can enjoy your trip even more.

The first thing to say is that New Yorkers are kind and generous and used to seeing and dealing with disabled people. I once fell over in Oxford St London and two people stepped over me and kept walking. That would NEVER happen in New York. EVER. So, feel free to ask people for help here (using common sense precautions, of course)

Like all cities there are places in New York City you are simply not going to be able to access. Not all buildings have level entry and not all are accessible to wheelchair users.

The main tourist attractions, of course are. All of them. In this town, wheelchair users are normally escorted to the front of the line (queue) and as this is common practice, no-one will bat an eye or criticize you for this HOWEVER, do not just go to the front of the line by yourself - that will annoy people.

I am going to start my mobility guide to New York by talking about public transport and getting around.

Use the buses. Yes, the buses here are awesome, regular, clean and all buses have little elevators at the front door or middle door or ramps at the front to allow up to two wheelchairs onto each bus. Wheelchair users are supposed to pay their fare as normal, but most drivers won't ask you. However, have quarters (25 cent coins) with you for the fare, just in case.

Drivers will help you onto the bus, tie your chair down with straps and untie them again at the end of the journey. You must let them do this, it is the law. Offer the fare when you get onto the bus and put fare into the metal "bucket/container" as directed or if you have a Metro Card (recommended and available everywhere - ask your hotel or buy in deli/store) put that into the slot. A Metro Card will enable you to do multiple journeys on buses and on subways. Make sure you have enough credit on the card for your journey. They do have inspectors here. You WILL be fined if you don't have enough credit or don't have a ticket or the fare. Ignorance is not a defense. Also, a new generation of buses and bus routes - mostly in high congestion areas require you to buy your ticket at the bus stop itself before you get onto the bus. The idea being that it reduces congestion at the bus entry and people can get on and off more quickly.

Also, when boarding a bus all wheelchair users get on the bus first and off the bus first. People are used to this again and will make way for you to get onto the bus before themselves. Don't feel self conscious of this - it's the way it is here.

As I said, most wheelchairs get off the bus first. When you arrive at your destination, the driver will lock the door, leave his seat, untie your chair, go back to his chair, unlock the door, lower the ramp or elevator and you will roll out. This all happens BEFORE anyone gets on or off the bus. Again, don't feel self-conscious - it's the law. Now having said all of that, of course, there are going to be exceptions. Lazy drivers forget (you will be sitting at the front of the bus close to the driver so its worth reminding them you are there when you are getting close to your destination) and sometimes passengers also forget and will rush past you in their eagerness to get out of the door. Be patient. MOST New Yorkers won't behave this way. Just bide your time and you'll get off the bus and be fine.

OK. Subways. I would say avoid these if possible, unless you really know your way around. Why? Because MOST subway stations in NYC are NOT wheelchair accessible. Now you may find that the one you are getting on at near your hotel is accessible but you may well find that not the case when you try to leave the station. You can visit the excellent MTA Info online site to work out what is and isn't accessible, but again for safety's sake, avoid the subway if you can. MTA Info also has an excellent online "Trip Planner" where you can input your start and finish address and work out how to get their by cab, bus, train, car or walking or any combination of the above. USE IT.

Cabs: There are very few wheelchair accessible Yellow Cabs in NYC. If you use a chair and are fit and can transfer, you can flag down a Yellow Cab and hop into the back and the driver will, with your instruction, break down your chair, stow it in the trunk of the cab and take you to where you need to go. It is illegal here for a Yellow Cab to refuse to carry you because of your mobility issue. That said, some won't stop for you. The best place to get a cab will be your hotel or tourist site or main transport hub. Then you'll be OK and you'll be able to get to the front of the line and get a cab, but from the street it can be a problem.

Yellow Cabs used to be a law upon themselves, but are much more regulated now and there are little screens in the back that give you travel info, annoying commercials and messages from the city and details about your fare. ALWAYS tip your driver. Round up to the nearest whole dollar or bill note (if fare is $8.20, give $10, if the fare is $35.70, give $40)

Town Cars: Town cars or livery cabs are normally sleek, black nice looking cars that are normally run out of a regulated car service office. They will always be more expensive than a Yellow Cab BUT they can carry more people, making fare-sharing better) they can carry more luggage, are more comfortable, will have helpful drivers and so on. I use them regularly for airport runs or for client meetings etc as they look better and are more comfortable, but again they are ALWAYS more expensive than a Yellow Cab. One more advantage is that the fare is set PER CAR and in advance, so you know what you are paying - there are no meters (normally - some do, most don't) Tip the same as Yellow Cabs, but with a little more generosity. Round up to nearest big bill ($23 fare - $30 total etc)

As with any tipping in New York - tip two times the sales tax. This will give you a tipping rate of about 17%. Perfect for this tipping culture town. Sales tax is always on your invoice, ticket or bill before the total is given

Enjoy the Big Apple, Wheelers!

Trains: Over land trains are going to have disabled access cabins and access. However not all stations are going to be accessible. It is unlikely you will use these when in NYC but if you travel out of the city, you will. Check with the hotel or contact the train company you are traveling with and they will be more than happy to help.

So, this rounds off my guide to getting around New York in a wheelchair.

Next in my guide: Where to wheel around to get a real taste of this great city

More later: Kevin Fetterplace

Kevin@Mojoworking.com

4. Re: NYC wheelchair travel

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Removed on: 5:05 pm, April 11, 2013
Edited: 5:05 pm, April 11, 2013
5. Re: NYC wheelchair travel

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