Over 6.8 million Americans use assistive devices in their daily lives. These may involve electric wheelchairs or Atlanta mobility scooters that they need to get around. However, those technologies can take up a lot of space and aren’t always the easiest to transport around a city.
As for the best way to transport a scooter, then there are a few different methods. Which one you use will depend on the distance, the type of scooter you are using, and your city’s accessibility options.
Trunk or Back Seat Storage
When deciding how to move a scooter for mobility, you first need to figure out where you can store it. Some of the more advanced scooters with stronger motors cannot come apart and take up more space. As a result, these are more difficult to transport.
However, there are some mobility scooters that either fold up or can be disassembled. Once compacted or taken apart, they can fit into spaces like your back seat or trunk.
One of the only problems with this transport option is that it may require another person. Someone who needs to use a mobility scooter all the time won’t be able to take it apart, pick up the pieces, and store them in the trunk. Additionally, you’ll have to put the scooter back together when you arrive at your destination.
With that said, it’s a good option for anyone who only plans to use a mobility scooter for a short period of time while they recover from an injury or surgery.
Mobility Scooter Ramp
Individuals who are confined to their mobility scooters don’t have the luxury of getting up and packing it away. As a result, they need some method of transporting a scooter while still seated on them.
One of the most cost-effective options is to utilize a ramp. These are available in a few different varieties, such as ones that are built into your vehicle and others that attach to them.
With a ramp, a mobility scooter or wheelchair user can drive up into the vehicle. In many cases, this requires removing a row of seats so that the user can position their ride in the right place.
For short-term use, you can buy a portable ramp that folds up and can be stowed away for later. Long-term users may benefit more from automatic ramps that fold out with the push of a button. This also gives a scooter user more independence since they won’t need another person to operate the ramp for them.
Mobility Scooter Carrier
If there isn’t enough space inside your vehicle for a mobility scooter, then there’s always the option of using a carrier. A mobility scooter carrier functions similarly to a bicycle rack that attaches to your vehicle. You can then load the scooter onto the carrier and unload it when you arrive at your destination.
While they’re useful for all kinds of cars or trucks, they do have a couple of caveats.
First of all, you’ll need to load the scooter separately which may require another person. Secondly, carriers are uncovered and exposed to the elements. You may need to cover the scooter with a tarp if necessary.
Minivans with a higher floor don’t work that well with ramps. That’s why modified minivans often have lowered floors to compensate.
However, wheelchair lifts are designed to work with vehicles of every height. You can install them on either side of the van or under the vehicle. It’s a great long-term solution that works best if you have extra space in your cargo area.
In addition, lifts are often safer since they don’t require an individual to go up an incline. Weather like rain or snow makes ramps especially dangerous to traverse.
A dual-arm lift platform can provide enough strength to lift both a heavy-duty mobility scooter and its passenger. Users can install them in only a few hours and store them inside the vehicle.
Public transportation is the next best option if you lack a vehicle or are touring a new city. While most taxis do not have the right equipment to carry a scooter, every city bus is wheelchair accessible. Space may be limited, but they will always stop and use either a ramp or lift to seat you.
Two of the most wheelchair-accessible cities in the United States are Orlando and Las Vegas. New York City also has an abundance of accessible public transportation options such as buses and trains.
Alternatively, you can utilize apps such as Uber to get rides on wheelchair-accessible vehicles. These are a good alternative to taxis as you can book them in advance and pick the type of vehicle you need.
Another avenue of travel that should take some consideration is air travel. Don’t expect the plane you book to automatically have accommodations set up for your mobility scooter.
Always request accommodations in advance and let them know what you’ll need. Try to get a front-row seat in the economy section and plan your connecting flights well. You may need to fill out certain documentation regarding your scooter before you arrive.
Once you’re at the airport, you can check in your mobility scooter and get a wheelchair. You’ll get your scooter back after you’ve landed. There are no additional baggage fees to worry about.
Find the Best Way to Transport a Scooter in Atlanta
Transporting a scooter long distances isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. Most vehicles can mount scooters on a carrier, and minivans can use ramps or lifts to bring passengers aboard. It all depends on your particular situation and what is available.
Freedom Mobility Center can help empower you to become more independent with your Atlanta mobility devices. We sell power wheelchairs, scooters, ramps, lifts, and more. Contact us to learn more and get a free in-home assessment.