A Guide to using Public Transport with your Wheelchair

Although mobility problems make it harder to get around, transport has been getting more accessible for disabled and elderly people over the years.  All public transport vehicles have to be “accessible” to avoid causing difficulty for disabled passengers. Public transport also have to accept guide dogs or assistance dogs.

In order to comply with the law, buses and trains have introduced priority seating for people who are in need. They have also introduced wider doors and additional space, so that people on wheelchairs can travel with less hassle. Some of the more modern buses and trains now even come with advanced automatic ramps.

Wheelchair users who use public transport are strongly encouraged to contact the operator before they travel. Otherwise, the transport staff would not be aware of the exact help that is needed and therefore may not be available to offer the necessary assistance.

If you are a person who is affected with a physical disability it is advisable to take a look at the schedules in advance. This will allow you to choose the most suitable routes you can take, along with hours of service to avoid busier periods.

Here are a few things to check in order to make your journey a smooth and comfortable one:

  • Do the ramps and bus lifts available offer a reliable service for your particular wheelchair?
  • Is there an accessible parking space near the bus or train station?
  • Is there a local person or organisation to seek advice on how accessible the area you are going to is?
  • Check the hours of service as it is always best not to visit during a rush hour or busy period.
  • Take care when using a ramp, particularly when there is wet or icy weather.
  • Make sure your brakes are on and turn the power off when in the travelling position.


Communication and planning in advance can be considered as the best approach for individuals using a wheelchair to make their lives easy when travelling. However, if you have never used public transport before, you can still simply just visit a train or bus station and have your first journey today. You will definitely be impressed with the steps taken by public transport providers in recent years to help people with disabilities.

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About Austen

My name is Austen Burns, Digital Marketing Consultant at Moorings Mediquip and I will be uploading blogs and news for you to read. I have a disability called Cerebral Palsy (CP). This affects my movement and co-ordination and as a result use a walking frame or mobility scooter to get around. I have a Degree in Computing & a Masters in Marketing, in my spare time I have always been involved in disability sports, competing in both disability swimming and equestrian at international level. My main focus has been on Equestrian where I am currently on the Irish Para dressage team. Despite having had success internationally I am yet to make a Paralympic team and with Tokyo 2020 coming closer it would be a dream to make this happen. As a consultant for Moorings Mediquip I hope to write fresh online content, information and debate within the disability and health fields, as well as work on many new digital marketing initiatives throughout 2017.