The past month has been rough on the travel industry – and on travelers. Cruises have been cancelled, travel has been disrupted and people are thinking twice about getting on an airplane. Folks who are immunocompromised, and those over a certain age (and that age varies depending on which expert you consult) have been urged to stay away from crowds, and even to avoid cruise travel. And although some folks call that fear mongering, I think it’s just plain old common sense. Continue reading
I get a lot of e-mails about access failures, and unfortunately in this day and age these things still happen. Why? Well part of the reason is that even though we have access laws on the books, we don’t have any entity that goes around and inspects facilities for compliance. And even if we did, there are some things – like providing reasonable accommodations – that you really can’t inspect. Continue reading
As a writer who has spent the last 20-some years visiting and writing about wheelchair access in our US national parks, (and just released a book about accessible national park lodges — www.BFNationalParkLodges.com), I’ve seen a lot of changes in the parks over the years. Some of the changes are due to the availability of new technology and equipment, but the bulk of them have been spurred on by increased visitation to these national treasures. Continue reading
What exactly are the ingredients of an accessible hotel room? That’s a question that I get asked a lot – from both travelers and people in the hospitality industry. And to be honest, there’s not one simple answer to that question. Continue reading
Edited to Add – The link to the placard does not work any more (and I have removed it), so it looks like Amazon took down the item for sale. Thanks everyone for their great response!!!
OK I’m a huge Amazon fan, but after finding this “Handicap Placard” for sale on the site I may have to think twice about continuing my relationship. It has absolutely no description, and the five-star reviews are obviously fake (“great customer service” — give me a break). The questions have been answered by consumers who obviously agree with me, and a few wheelchair-users wrote negative comments. Continue reading
Super Shuttle – which once provided accessible and affordable airport transfers – abruptly closed it’s doors for good on December 31, 2019. And that closure left a lot of wheelchair-users scratching their heads and trying to find a suitable replacement for airport pick-ups and drop-offs. Although there’s not a suitable across the board replacement, these suggestions may help you sort out the issue on an airport-by-airport basis. Continue reading
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced that it is seeking public comments on proposed amendments to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulations on service animals. Continue reading
If you’ve always wanted to take a cruise, but thought you couldn’t because you use a wheelchair, then pick up a copy of Sylvia Longmire’s new book Everything You Need to Know about Wheelchair Accessible Cruising and get ready for that bon voyage party. Not only does this well-researched resource give you the nuts and bolts of accessible cruise travel, but it also includes information on what each cruise line offers in terms of service and ambiance as well as their demographics. Longmire also points out the most accessible ships, includes helpful information for choosing an itinerary, and even offers her own personal access reviews on a number of itineraries that she has sailed.
On December 11, 2019 the Department of Transportation (DOT) opened public comments for a proposed amendment to the Air Carrier Access Act, that would require accessible lavatories and on-board wheelchairs on single aisle aircraft that have 125 or more seats. Currently accessible lavatories are only required on wide body jets. Continue reading
Earlier this month the city council passed a resolution the directed the City Manager to include a funding request in the fiscal year budget, to make Zero-Fare Transit a reality. This plan is a priority of the newly elected mayor Quinton Lucas, who was endorsed by the Kansas City Transportation Authority. So it seems everyone is on board with the proposal
To be fair, the KC Streetcar (http://kcstreetcar.org/) has been fare-free since it’s inception. It also boasts excellent access, as it has a very inclusive design. There is level boarding at all streetcar stops, with priority seating for wheelchairs near the door. The streetcar runs a two mile route through the downtown area, from Union Station to the River North Market Loop. Stops along the way include Crossroads, Kauffman Center, Power & Light, Metro Center and the library. Additionally, riders can transfer to a Ride KC Bus at Union Station, Crossroads and River Market North.
The Ride KC Bus (https://ridekc.org/) system will probably be most impacted by the new fare-free resolution, as currently bus fares are $1.50 per ride. As with the streetcar, all of the buses are wheelchair-accessible, and they either have lifts or ramps, with wheelchair-seating in front.
Kudos to Kansas City for being the first US city to implement this system-wide free fare scheme. It’s a great way for visitors get around, and soon it will be easier on the wallet too.