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Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

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Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

We need to go to NYC for therapy for my 7 year old daughter who is in a wheelchair. We'd be coming from BWI. Not sure if it's best to fly or take the train. Seems there would be less dealing with security and such on the train, but I've never actually been on one.

Also need suggestions on where to stay that is accommodating and as cheap but safe and clean as possible. The therapy is located near Central Park around Broadway and W 73rd St.

If we were to fly, what is the closest airport?

How does one get around in NYC when you are in a wheelchair? Are busses accommodating?

Thanks so much!

new york city
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1. Re: Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

All buses are handicapped equipped and the drivers well trained- You enter through the rear door... some subway stops are handicapped equipped but not all and I have seen instances where the elevators don't work so I would be leery of those.

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2. Re: Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

Correction...you board the front of the buses with wheelchairs. (The older short buses loaded from the rear.)

I would check with Amtrak on wheelchair accessibility, I'm just not sure. But it would seem much easier to come into NY by train, thus saving the trip in from the airport.

As for hotels, right nearby is the Hotel Beacon, which has big rooms (by NY standards) plus kitchenettes. Other nearby hotels are the Milburn, Belleclaire, and On the Ave. You would have to check to see which have accessible rooms and for their rates.

Good luck with your trip, and your daughter's therapy.

Norman, OK
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3. Re: Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

Thought I would check out Amtrak's information for Wheelchair access..

Here is the link:


and the info:


Boarding and Detraining

We can provide assistance to people in wheelchairs in the following situations, if needed:

High Platforms: Amtrak will assist you across the gap between the platform and the train by using a bridge plate. Low-Level Platforms: Amtrak will provide a level boarding through the use of station-board lifts. Bi-Level Trains: Amtrak will provide a wheelchair ramp to help you board the lower level of the train. Remaining in Your Wheelchair or Transferring to a Seat

If you use a common wheelchair, including a battery-operated chair, you may remain in your wheelchair en route. When wheelchair lockdowns are not available, we request that you apply your wheelchair brakes.

Many First Class and Business Class cars also have accessible seating. If you choose to transfer to an accessible seat, you may stow your wheelchair nearby.

Wheelchair Restrictions

Amtrak trains accommodate most wheelchairs in use today, provided they meet the ADA definition of a "common" wheelchair. Please note:

Dimensions: The chair should not exceed 30 inches (76 centimeters) wide, 48 inches (122 centimeters) long and 2 inches (5 centimeters) of ground clearance. Weight: The weight limit for an occupied wheelchair is 600 pounds (273 kilograms). Manual and battery powered: We permit both manually operated and battery powered wheelchairs that meet the above limits.

Edited: 06 October 2010, 20:10
New York City
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4. Re: Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

Momma, look at this video of travelling Amtrak in a wheelchair. The person who posted it seems to have had a very good experience all the way around:


Glasgow, United...
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5. Re: Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

soonerguy and GWB thats good info

Good luck with the therapy and Central Park is beautiful I hope you are able to get some time for a walk in Central Park with your daughter.

If you need any other help ie, with prices for hotels check back

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6. Re: Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

What a lot of great information! I'm very appreciative!!

New Orleans...
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7. Re: Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

Definitely deal with the bus in this situation. While many subway stations claim to be wheelchair-accessible, many have elevators and such that are out of service on a regular basis. You can be sure that the bus will never let you down.

If you fly, La Guardia would probably be the most convenient airport for you. It has regular bus service, and if your daughter is able to get out of her chair, the cab ride would be the easiest of the local airports.

Good luck to the both of you.

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8. Re: Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

If you don't want to deal with the bus or subway when you get here, you can also get a yellow taxicab outfitted to accommodate wheelchairs. Regular taxis are hailed on the street, but for these there is a telephone number to call when you need them.

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9. Re: Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

You'll be in a great neighborhood to visit the Museum of Natural History and the Met across the Park. (accessible entrances in both places)

If you want to do any special touring with her, I was once hired to do a tour in an accessible van - have no idea how much it cost the family but we had a fun 4 hours -- in any case, the van company and driver were terrific




Naples, Florida
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10. Re: Suggestions for traveling to NYC with a handicapped child

Folks have given you some good reasons to take the train. I just wanted to let you know (we have had to do this many times with my elderly mother) that boarding a plane is much easier than the train. Just let the person at the ticket counter know that you need assistance and they will provide you with a person to push the wheelchair, leaving your hands free to pull carry-on. Just check with the airline beforehand whether you need to check the wheelchair at the counter or gate before boarding. The assistant will take you directly to the front of the security line and then directly to the gate. Also, if you let the person at the ticket counter or gate know that you require a wheelchair upon deplaning, they will have a wheelchair waiting at the plane upon arrival.

So, choose either train or plane, but please do not rule out plane as "security" check will not be an issue, you will have assistance in boarding and de-planing from start to finish and you will have the flight attendants available during your (presumably quicker) journey.

Best of luck to you and your daughter .....