If you are looking for free rides for disabled people, then here is a guide on Free Transportation Programs for the disabled. Disabled people are differently abled than ordinary people, and hence their needs and requirements are also slightly different than the general public. Various Government programs, Charities, and NGOs are aware of the special and additional needs of disabled people and hence have come forward with various programs for Disabled people.
You can find a free ride for handicapped and disabled people through various government programs, NGO services as well as transportation services. The main objective of the free rides as well as handicapped transportation services is to make sure that disabled people get adequate services on time to reach their doctor’s appointments, medical stores, grocery stores, and other such daily essential errands that need to be run.
Such free transportation programs for disabled people ensure that the needy ones get access to the essential services. If you are someone who is looking for free rides for disabled people or free transportation programs for disabled people, then keep reading further to know more.
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Free Transportation Programs for Disabled People
The State and Federal government, Charity Organizations, NGOs, as well as many transportation services offer free rides for disabled people. All of these organizations know that it can get difficult for people with disabilities to continue with their jobs if they don’t have the means to transportation available.
For all such people in need, given below are the ways to get free rides and transportation services for disabled people.
Government programs for free transportation for Disabled
The Government runs a number of programs for the disabled. One of which is the free transportation program for disabled people. One of such programs is the Paratransit which can be used by disabled people to take rides to the doctor’s appointment, grocery store, medical store, and so on.
The Paratransit service is available all across the nation and especially for those individuals who cannot take public transportation. The mode of transportation made available by the service is wheelchair accessible. The drivers are trained individuals to handle and help the disabled people in entry and exit from the vehicle.
- Independent Transportation Network America
This is yet another amazing service that offers free transportation services to disabled and elderly people. This door-to-door transportation service for disabled people. You can get a free ride to medical shops, doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, and so on for free.
- Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services
This government transportation service for disabled people helps the low-income families on Medicaid with transportation irrespective of the fact that they are disabled or not. In order to use this service, you must book an appointment in advance. However, this service is only meant for health care needs like visits to a doctor’s clinic or a local hospital. A few states extend the service to dentist’s appointments as well.
Free rides and Transportation for the disabled
Uber is one of the most popular transportation services that can be accessed from a smartphone. The Uber services are much cheaper than general cab rides. You can easily book an uber ride from the smartphone and enter your pickup location.
The arrival time of an uber would be 3 to 10 minutes. You will get a text message about the arrival of the car along with the name and photo of the driver and the travel cost. Splitting the cost is also an option available if you are sharing the ride.
Uber has some special features for the disabled people like – there is vibrating and flashing light alerts for deaf and hearing-impaired riders. For individuals with impaired vision, there are 3 options – VoiceOver for iPhone, TalkBack for Android, and Wireless Braille.
For the disabled people who require a wheelchair, especially accessible vehicles can be used with a ramp or a lift. Assistance from the drivers is also provided.
- Mobility Managers
Mobility Managers are the employees of Transit and Human Service Agencies with connections to the local transportation services. The service is like having a personal travel agent. A lot of states have Mobility Management Programs. The managers help you coordinate rides for disabled people or explain to them how to find rides by themselves.
Those disabled people who cannot use the general public transport have the option to use Paratransit. Paratransit is a door-to-door service available in most of the metropolitan areas and some of the rural areas. The vehicles used by Paratransit service are taxis, vans, or minibuses that are wheelchair accessible.
The drivers of the Paratransit service are trained individuals that assist the disabled for entry and exit from the vehicle. The best part about Paratransit service is that its vehicles travel by the same routes as buses and trains and at the same hours. This makes it much accessible and easy for the disabled people. The cost of it is also the same as the bus fare.
In order to be eligible and qualify for Paratransit service, one must fill in an application stating their disability and why they cannot opt for public transportation. A healthcare professional is required to sign the form as well. When your application gets approved, you are given a pass that can help you schedule the rides.
Don’t let the name misguide you. Although it suggests that this is a service for the elderly, it is not. Eldercare Locator is a service that helps disabled people from age 21 to 64. You can call the toll-free number – 1-800-677-1116 from Monday to Friday and between 9 am to 8 pm to get help from them. You can contact them for help with the below transportation programs –
- Paratransit services – also called demand response transportation services
- One-click transportation websites
- Vehicle conversion
- Accessible parking placards/license tags
- Public transportation – bus fares and discounts
- Travel training programs
- Transportation voucher programs
- Mobility management services
- Volunteer transportation programs
Charities that offer free transportation and rides for the Disabled
As said earlier, there are a number of Charity Organizations that work with the motive to provide free transportation services for the disabled and free rides for disabled people. Check out the below charity organizations and their programs to know more.
- National Aging Network
National Aging Network is a service that aims to offer free transportation services to the disabled, and elderly. The organization has its network all across different counties. The program helps disabled, elderly, handicapped people. You can find this program on the Aging Centers ass Agency.
- The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, apart from various other essential services for life like – Food, clothes, furniture, etc., offers free car rides for disabled people through their ‘Share a Ride’ program. This program is one of the Volunteer Driver Programs.
- Volunteer Driver Programs
A number of Charity organizations as well as Non-Profit Organizations run different Volunteer Driver Programs that can help the disabled get free transportation and free rides for disabled people. Such programs are funded by donations from local businesses, individuals, and so on. The program is somewhat similar to the Salvation Army’s Volunteer Driver Program.
How to apply for Free Transportation services for disabled
As mentioned above, there are not one or two but many programs that can help the disabled with free transportation services. You can apply for any of these services according to your needs. The local programs like Paratransit and Wheelchair Assistance programs are generally run by the Local Human Social Service agencies.
You can also use the Medicare or Medicaid and Eldercare Locator service for free transportation assistance for the disabled. You can use the toll-free number – 1-800-677-1116 for further assistance.
A number of local charity organizations run various volunteer programs where you can find free transportation for disabled people. You can contact organizations like St. Vincent De Paul, The Salvation Army, and so on for further assistance.
Those were the Free Transportation Programs for the disabled. I hope you have all found the article of use. In case of any doubts, feel free to ask us in the comments below. Also, if you know of any other way through which one can get free transportation for the disabled, then make sure to drop them in the comments below.
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