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Affordable transportation for people with disabilities like cerebral palsy is available in most areas. If you cannot drive or access local transportation stops, government agencies, non-profits, and community groups can help.
Reduced Fares on Public Transportation
Many public transportation systems offer lower fares for certain populations, such as older adults and children. Most include disabled individuals in the discount.
For example, the Chicago Transit Authority offers reduced fares on buses and trains for anyone with a disability. For travelers with disabilities who are enrolled in Illinois’s Benefit Access Program, the fare is free on public transportation.
Contact your local public transportation department to find out what discounts might apply in your situation. You can also ask about accessibility and what to expect when riding with a wheelchair or other assistive device.
For people with disabilities that prevent them from using buses and other modes of public transport, the Americans with Disabilities Act ensures paratransit services. The service is also known as dial-a-ride because it is an on-demand service.
Paratransit rides are free and available through your local transportation agency. They are only available in areas that already have public transportation. Riders can contact the local agency for a ride and get picked up at home and dropped off at their destination.
Contact the transportation agency to learn about eligibility requirements and how you can benefit from the free rides. You might need to submit documentation as proof of your disability or go through an in-person interview.
United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is a national non-profit organization that provides resources and assistance to individuals with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Services are offered through regional offices, and some of these include transportation.
Find your local UCP affiliate to find out if they offer rides in the area. As an example, the UCP of Hudson County provides free rides for non-emergency medical appointments and recreational needs. The UCP works with New Jersey Transit and offers rides all over northern New Jersey.
Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation
If you have Medicaid benefits, you can get free rides to and from medical appointments. Eligible individuals include those who do not have a vehicle and people with disabilities that make it difficult to travel. You must also be eligible for Medicaid and have an appointment with a Medicaid provider.
Local Charitable Organizations
In many areas, you can find local or regional non-profit groups that offer transportation assistance for people with disabilities. In southeast Michigan, for instance, an organization called MyRide2 coordinates transportation for seniors and adults with disabilities in the area. The group helps people find necessary resources or navigate public transportation or paratransit.
A good national resource is your local Area Agency on Aging. These are local and regional groups under the umbrella of U.S. Aging. Contact your local AAA to find out what transportation services and coordination it offers disabled individuals.
EasterSeals is another national organization with local and regional offices that aid disabled individuals. Your local agency can help you find transportation services. Other local charities may offer rides. Contact community and religious charitable groups in your area to find out what is available. An easy way to find these and other groups is to dial 211 for access to health and social services.
Rideshare programs, like Uber and Lyft, are not free, but they are often cheaper than taxis. They offer accessible options in most areas. Uber WAV is a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, and using it costs no more than a standard Uber ride.
LyftUp is a program Lyft offers to get people free rides to job interviews, including individuals with disabilities who can’t access reliable transportation. Lyft partners with Goodwill and United Way to offer this service.
If you qualify for paratransit in your area, you may be able to get vouchers to use on rideshare apps. Local transportation agencies have begun contracting out rides to these companies, but you shouldn’t have to pay for the ride.
Mobility is important for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. You should be able to access transportation to get to medical appointments, stores, and recreation. If you don’t have reliable or affordable transportation, contact one of these groups to determine your options.
- Accessibility Frequently Asked Questions. (n.d.). Chicago Transit Authority.
Retrieved from: https://www.transitchicago.com/accessibility/faq/
- Transportation. (n.d.). United Cerebral Palsy of Hudson County.
Retrieved from: https://ucpofhudsoncounty.org/programs/community-outreach/transportation/
- Led Medicaid Give You a Ride. (2016, April). Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Retrieved from: https://www.cms.gov/medicare-medicaid-coordination/fraud-prevention/medicaid-integrity-education/downloads/nemt-factsheet.pdf
- Find a Ride Provider. (n.d.). MyRide2.
Retrieved from: https://www.myride2.com/
- Uber WAV. (n.d.). Uber.
Retrieved from: https://www.uber.com/us/en/ride/uberwav/
- Supporting the Journey to Work. (n.d.). Lyft.
Retrieved from: https://www.lyft.com/lyftup/jobs-access