New York assists people with disabilities

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a system called Access-A-Ride (AAR) which provides transportation for people with disabilities who are unable to use the City’s bus or subway system.

It offers shared ride, door-to-door paratransit service and operates 24-hours a day, seven days a week.   AAR also provides service within a three-quarter-of-a-mile corridor beyond fixed-route service across the New York City borderline to nearby areas of Nassau and Westchester Counties.

There is a charge for the service, but it is equal to the full fare on a regular bus or subway trip.  Passengers wishing to use AAR need to make arrangements before visiting New York as there is some paperwork involved.

According to their website visitors to New York are welcome to use the service, and this is what they stipulate for visitor use:

Visitors’ Information

MTA New York City Transit welcomes the opportunity to provide AAR paratransit service to eligible visitors to New York City.  Visitors who need to use AAR must send NYC Transit a copy of their paratransit ID card (front and back) or other equivalent paratransit eligibility documentation issued by the city or town in which you reside. If you don’t have these documents, you must submit proof of residency outside New York City and proof of disability. A legible, dated, and signed letter from a doctor or rehabilitation professional indicating an individual’s disability is acceptable proof.  In addition, we need the following information:

  1. Name, birth date, home address, telephone, cell phone and business telephone.
  2. Your address and telephone number in New York City (include cross streets).
  3. Emergency contact (name and telephone) in New York City.
  4. Will you travel with a personal care attendant (PCA), a guest, or both?
  5. Do you use a service animal?
  6. Do you use a cane, walker, crutches, wheelchair, scooter or other equipment? Note: AAR vehicles cannot accommodate wheelchairs or scooters wider than 33.5 inches, longer than 51 inches and weighing more than 800 lbs. when occupied.
  7. Special instructions: For example, a blind customer wants the driver to call out the customer’s name when the vehicle arrives.
  8. Do you need information in large print, Braille or on audio tape?

Just follow this link for more information on the scheme.

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