Tips for Traveling Safe in San Mateo with a Disability

Disabled travel is on the rise as more and more people want to get past the restrictions imposed on them by their bodies. San Mateo is also waking up to the special needs of such travelers by offering friendly transportation services and better accommodation.

Here are a few tips that physically challenged individuals must follow to ensure safe travel in San Mateo:

Call ahead: In several cases, service providers are obligated by law to have proper facilities for travelers with special needs. But, most require some time to make the arrangements. Hence, it’s best to call them at least two days before the arrival date to verify if proper arrangements have been made.

Detailing the disability:

Not all providers understand the "lingo" of disabled travel, or the medical terms for some conditions. Hence, the patient must offer as much details as possible about what he/she can and can't do, and should never downplay the severity of the disability. The more info a provider has, better the accommodation and travel experience. Several companies can also arrange for state-of-the-art medical transportation vehicles that comprise of the best life sustaining equipment, and GPS system that ensures complete safety and comfort to the person travelling. 

Using a non-emergency medical transportation van for travel:

There are several companies in San Mateo that provide services to people who require non-emergency transportation.  These providers strive to offer safe, comfortable and reliable wheelchair and stretcher vans to their customers.  The fleet of vehicles, stretchers and lifts are designed for both safety and comfort. Such vans can also be booked with a travel companion who is an expert in offering medical assistance. 

There are different types of automobiles made specifically for non-ambulatory clients. One of such inventions is wheelchair accessible vans. With such vehicles, family members no longer have to struggle loading a wheelchair in a trunk and risking injury. Instead, the patient remains seated while hydraulic lifts, and ADA approved safety equipment do the work of loading and unloading. The main aim of such vans is to provide comfortable transportation, irrespective of the physical challenges. The friendly, trained drivers can bring the patient safely and on time to the destination.

It is extremely important to contact a reputed service provider to ensure complete safety. There are several companies out there that claim to offer cheaper rates but may also compromise on the quality of service. They may not perform proper background checks on their drivers which may put the passenger in danger. Hence, a transportation provider must be chosen intelligently. Here are a few factors that must be kept in mind:
  •     Drivers must be well trained and should have a legitimate driving license.
  •     The vehicles must be insured.
  •     The vans must be in excellent condition.
  •     The service providers must be friendly and sympathetic towards the needs of the disabled person.
Another way of finding out about the reputation of a company is by contacting BBB. One can also research over the internet. There are plenty of online forums that provide valuable information and reviews about businesses.   

Most visitors explore San Mateo without any difficulty as the place looks after their needs extremely well. Popular tourist attractions and areas are very safe, though, as in most places, tourists are asked not to flaunt expensive jewelry or cash. In general, people are requested to avoid leaving expensive things in parked cars and are advised to use areas that are well-lit. Also, to get that extra bit of confidence about a given attraction or region, visitors can get in touch with the local tourism office; contact information is normally available online.

Using a Mobility Device in San Mateo

San Mateo County is located in the San Francisco Bay Area and covers a big portion of the San Francisco Peninsula, south of the state. The place is extremely diverse and affluent. Due to this, traveling inside the county, for some, requires special mode of transit such as, mobility devices. Mobility devices aid people with severe walking disabilities or who have difficulty undertaking longer journeys.

Scooters and wheelchairs

Mobility scooters or wheelchairs are a great substitute for walking. Wheelchairs can either be propelled manually or can be powered electrically. Mobility scooters, on the other hand, are only electrically powered, as are motorized wheelchairs. Scooters and wheelchairs are usually recommended for any person that has tremendous mobility/balance impairment.

Traveling with Mobility Devices

There are several transportation providers in the county that have room for mobility devices. From buses to private vans, people can choose from a variety of options as per their requirement.


San Mateo is very accommodating for people that travel with mobility devices. However, they have set standards when boarding such vehicles. While entering, following measures need to be taken:

  • Flags and poles need to be attached to the mobility device.
  • In case the patient requires using a ramp or a lift then the bus operator will request him/her to board the vehicle before anyone else. Once the stop arrives, the operator will assist the patient off the bus after others.
  • When the patient boards the lift in a wheelchair, he/she is requested to lock the brakes to prevent unnecessary rolling when the lift is operating. Once the machine is properly secure, the operator raises the lift till the time it levels with the floor of the bus.
  • Patients are asked to face forward when boarding the ramp.
The bus is equipped with belts to secure wheelchairs and scooters. The belts on majority of these buses have a retractable design which makes it easy for operators to secure the device quickly. All these buses also comprise of a lap belt to protect the passenger.

Wheelchair Accessible Vans:

Apart from public transportation, provision for private vehicles is also highly developed in San Mateo County. There are several operators that offer wheelchair accessible vans that easily accommodate mobility vehicles, the patient and his/her traveling companions. These vehicles come with a personal attendant that watches over the health of the patient during travel.  They are also equipped with ramps or lifts that can be utilized by people who make use of mobility devices or are not able to climb steps.

These companies are completely insured and licensed with state-of-the-art wheelchair transport vehicles and attentive drivers who have been trained in the special requirements. They are well aware of the areas they serve and can find the smoothest and shortest routes to any place the transportation is required. Senior citizens, people with disabilities can ride these vans at a discount if they talk to the company. Most of these businesses also offer online reservation. All the customer needs to do is visit the company’s website and book a van of his/her choice.

People living with disability are benefitted heavily from wheelchair transportation as it offers increased independence – whether they want to go shopping, work or want to socialize. The best way to find out about these services is to use the internet. The World Wide Web will list a variety of local companies within the county that provide this facility. Patients can filter out the company that best suits their needs and budget. Better Business Bureau is one of the best websites to find out about the reputation of the owner. Almost all good companies are listed at the BBB.