Wheelchair Accessible Transportation
Washington, DC is one of the most accessible cities in the world for the disabled.
New in March 2012, DC reserved metered parking spaces for persons with disabilities at distinctive “red top” meters. This program sets aside curbside parking spaces for the exclusive use by persons with disabilities. About 400 red top meters are now installed throughout the Central Business District and the Federal corridors in the southwest quadrant of the city.
Handicapped Parking: The DC Department of Motor Vehicles honors handicap parking permits from other states. Cars bearing disabled parking tags may park in designated spaces and park for double the posted time in metered or time-restricted spaces.
Metro is one of the most accessible public transportation systems in the world. Each Metro station is equipped with an elevator to the train platforms and extra-wide fare gates for wheelchair users. Nearly all of the Metrobuses have wheelchair lifts and kneel at the curb.
Accessible Passenger Loading Zones on the National Mall:
- National Museum of American History: Mall and Constitution Avenue entrances
- National Museum of Natural History: Mall entrance
- National Air and Space Museum: Mall entrance
- S. Dillon Ripley Center: Mall entrance
- Freer Gallery of Art: Independence Avenue entrance
Parking Garages Close to the National Mall With Accessible Parking Spaces:
- Colonial Parking in Capital Gallery (6th and Maryland Avenue, SW)
- Colonial Parking in the Holiday Inn (6th and C Streets, SW)
- and the Ronald Reagan Building (14th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW)
50 Massachusetts Avenue NE
Washington DC 20002
Union Station is very wheelchair friendly. There are wheelchair accessible restrooms, elevators and parking. The ticket office and waiting rooms are also accessible.
Metrobus provides more than 400,000 trips each weekday serving 11,500 bus stops in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Metrobus is the sixth busiest bus agency in the United States, with a fleet of more than 1,500 buses operating on 325 routes.
Metrobus Accessibility Features
- All buses in the Metro fleet are accessible.
- All buses kneel or lower to make it easier to get on and off the bus.
- All buses have accessibility signs, including the International Symbol of Accessibility and kneeling bus signage.
- Priority seating for people with disabilities and senior citizens is located in the seats directly behind the bus operator.
- Over 70 percent of the buses in Metro's fleet have audio stop announcements that identify major intersections and transfer points. There is also a visual display.
- Bus operators are instructed to announce major intersections, landmarks, and transfer points on buses that do not have the automated stop announcement system or if the automated stop announcement system fails to work.
- All new buses have security cameras on the inside and outside.
- All bus operators take part in ADA Customer Service Training.
Lifts and Floor Ramps
- All buses either have a low floor ramp or are lift-equipped.
- Lift Bus Mechanic Specialist positions have been established at each Metrobus division to maintain the operational effectiveness of lift buses.
- All new buses that Metro purchases are low floor ramp buses. As these new buses arrive, older lift-equipped buses are phased out.
- The ramps on low floor buses can be manually operated if the hydraulic system fails, for 100% reliability.
- Two wheelchair securement areas are located near the front of each bus and include tie downs and lap belts for safety.
- The wheelchair securement areas also feature an accessible yellow button so a customer can alert the bus operator that the bus is approaching his or her stop.
Metrorail provides safe, clean, reliable transit service for more than 700,000 customers a day throughout the Washington, DC area. The system is the second busiest in the United States, serving 86 stations in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.
Metrorail Accessibility Features
- All Metrorail stations and rail cars are accessible.
- Accessible priority parking spaces near the rail station entrance are reserved for vehicles displaying DMV/MVA handicapped permits or license plates.
- Each Metrorail station entrance has an extra-wide, accessible faregate for customers who use wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility devices. The farecard is returned at the entry slot. The SmarTrip® target is located on the inside of the faregate for easier access.
- An accessible TTY-equipped telephone is located on the mezzanine level of each rail station.
- Metro operates elevators at all of its rail stations.
- Gap reducers have been installed on all rail cars. They reduce the gap between the platform and the rail car by an additional 1½ inches, making it easier for a wheelchair user or a person with a mobility device to enter and exit the train safely.
- Barriers between rail cars alert customers who are blind or have low vision of the space between the rail cars so they do not mistake this space for the door to the inside of the rail car.
- Priority seating for people with disabilities and senior citizens is located in all rail cars adjacent to the center doors.
- Emergency intercoms are located at both ends of each rail car. Intercom information is in both raised alphabet and Braille, and a call button is accessible for wheelchair users.
Accessible Taxis DC Yellow Cab / Royal Taxi (Taxi Transportation )
There are 2 companies participating in a pilot wheelchair accessible taxi program, Yellow Paratransit and Royal Taxi. The D.C. accessible taxicabs are ADA-compliant and designed for standard-sized power wheelchairs and standard-sized scooters, measuring 30 inches wide by 48 inches long and weighing no more than 600 pounds when occupied. The taxis will not accommodate an over-sized wheelchair, such as one with extra adaptive equipment attached. While they provide priority service to persons who use wheelchairs, they are available for other passengers when not providing trips for passengers in wheelchairs.
Jim’s Tips: Call well in advance. Although this service is available 24/7 you should call one to two hours in advance. Service is not always great.
From Dulles and BWI airports - Both Dulles and BWI have their own wheelchair accessible taxis to serve trips from the airports. It is recommended that you call ahead to let the dispatcher know when you will need an accessible taxi.
Accessible Van Rentals
Jim's Comments:Accessible van rentals are expensive and cost $100-$150 per day plus mileage. Many charge an additional $50-$90 for delivery and pick-up services. Some rental companies will not add hand controls or provide transfer/swivel seats, preferring to rent to able bodied persons who drive persons confined to wheelchairs.
5002 Lehigh Ave
College Park, DC 20740
Website: Wheelchair Getaways
Wheelers of Washington D.C.
6300 Falls Rd
Baltimore MD 21209