Policy about size of scooters on buses

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by KPeveler, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. RaySharpton

    RaySharpton DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for your insight and replies. I really appreciate your posts and I enjoy reading them.

    This makes since, and I really didn't think that 3-wheel scooters would be banned, but with the recent changes to the bus stop line chains, new scooter restriction size boxes on the pavement, etc., I can see that someone questioning the info.

    Thank you for clarifing this question.

    I agree, and I usually volunteer to get off of my scooter. I have stayed on my scooter on very long lined, busy, MK closing buses, and I felt like I should stay in my scooter chair so an extra person could load the bus. But I also remember having to hold on to the folded chair to brace myself during big turns of the bus because I felt the scooter tilt a little. With the scooter motor weight near the ground the scooter is stable, but when a rider sits in the chair, the weight of the person is much higher off of the ground and may tend to make the scooter want to possibly tilt on faster bus turns.

    I agree.
     
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  3. selina4disney

    selina4disney Paging Mr. Morrow, Mr. Tom Morrow!

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    Thanks for you post and reassurance! I really didn't think it was true but you never know. We had mostly wonderful drivers, as usual...I always thank them as I know this is extra work for them, and one I said thank you to and told him if he wasn't there I couldn't come to WDW told me "No, thank YOU. If you weren't coming, I wouldn't get paid so I appreciate all the guests!" I thought that was very sweet. One driver I talked to, a female, whom I asked when they got the new uniforms, said she didn't care for them much. I like your signature line...I miss the cheery purple pants!

    I certainly understand getting off the scooter and sitting in a seat (although my family---which most often is just my DH---usually goes ahead and stands if there are a lot of people in the queue) because of safety issues, and I'd much rather be safe too than fall over, probably on someone (which would not make their trip very magical either...) so I am certainly going to move since I always have a three-wheeler and I have seen how it can move, even anchored. I am happy to know there aren't plans to abolish them from the buses!

    A salute and big thank you to you and the other drivers that make it possible for me to be there! :thumbsup2
     
  4. RaySharpton

    RaySharpton DIS Veteran

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    I would like to ask several questions to any WDW bus drivers (WDW policy maker) out there about WDW resort/park bus stop line setup.

    1. Do you think that WDW will try to make all of their resort/park bus stops appear to look the consistenlty the same as far as the way a wheelchair/scooter will enter the mainstream line with other walkers, the width of the lines, the use of chains and poles as dividers for the lines? (And I realize every park/resort has limited space or area to arrange bus stops such as MK and especially Epcot's Pop Century bus stop with smaller spaces and the opposite with Pop Century with huge spaces between each bus stop.)

    2. I notice that the "Epcot"/Pop Century bus stop has a chain with a clasp on the far right side of the front of the line near where the rear door of the bus would be located.(I am just using this stop as an example.) This is located on the opposite end of the main walker entrance to the bus. I have heard other posters say that when their wheelchair/scooter reaches this spot, that they unclasp the chain and enter through this spot to wait in the traditional unmarked area to wait for the bus. I presume that they reattach the chain afterwards. What is the WDW Castmember policy for unclasping a chain in line by a guest in a wheelchair/scooter?

    3. Do you think that they will put the white box for scooter restriction size in one particular place in the bus line? The one at the Pop Century Resort was placed in the back row, separated from the main walker line. This may have been changed since last May, but I put a photo in an early post on this thread.

    4. What do you think that the bus stop lines at the parks/resorts will eventually look like as far as entrance/exit for walkers and wheelchairs/scooters, including where the white size restriction box will be located what is expected by the wheelchair/scooter person?

    In my opinion, I think that all bus stops should include the following:

    1. Some kind of sign of instruction for both the walker and the wheelchair/scooter person can read so that there will be no confusion by anyone at the park/resort bus stops of what is expected.

    2. If the wheelchair/scooter is going to go through the walker main line at the bus stop, and they reach the open spot of the bus stop line where walkers walk onto the bus, a sign should be put here to instruct the wheelchair/scooter to either stay put or move over to the usual unmarked space where the bus rear door will be located.

    3. Similar to above question, if the wheelchair/scooter is going to go through the walker main line at the bus stop, and they reach the chain link with a clasp spot in the front line on the far left of the walker entrance of the bus, there should be a sign to instruct the wheelchair/scooter to either stay put and wait for a bus driver to open the chain or for the wheelchair/scooter person to open this chain themselves, drive through, close the chain clasp themselves and then move over to the usual unmarked space where the bus rear door will be located.

    4. And I think that the white, wheelchair/scooter size restriction box should be painted on the pavement in two places at a park/resort bus stop.
    (a) First, one should be placed somewhere outside of the bus stop line so that a scooter can see if their scooter will meet the size guideline before entering the main bus line and having to wait to go all of the way through the line before finding out if there scooter is to big to load. It seems like this might save the scooter rider a lot wasted time in line. But I realize that there is really only one scooter called the Dream scooter that is the only oversized scooter that is rented offsite to be used at WDW.
    (b) Second, one should be placed where the scooter should be parked after leaving the main line to the place near where the rear door of the bus will be located. Or placed where it would be the easiest for the bus driver to come out of the bus to determine if the scooter fits in the box size criteria. I don't know if it would be easier near the front door of the bus just past where the walkers get onboard the bus so that it won't be in the way of the walkers. Or near the traditonal unmarked space near the rear door of the bus will be located.

    5. That the persons painting the white, wheelchair/scooter size restriction box should be painted on the surface consitently, preferably by someone able to understand how a wheelchair/scooter drives and is able to move their device. Especially in tight spots at the bus stop like if they decide to place one near where the rear door of the bus may be. Please don't put it to close to where the bus will eventually park, especially where there is no curb like at MK or Epcot.

    6. Just try to think like a wheelchair/scooter person would think when planning these new changes.

    7. Try to be consistent as possible with every park/resort bus stop design and actual implementaion.

    8. Try to place visible signs where the wheelchair/scooter person can make the appropriate decision and not to guess at what they are supposed to do or move or stay put in a bus line. These signs may also avoid any angry walkers who think that wheelchair/scooters may be breaking in line, which we are not, but they don't know. I know WDW doesn't want any guest to feel humilated and embarrased just because we are trying to board a bus. But this might be helped with simple signs put up for everyone to read.

    9. I use a mobility scooter that I own, and I like to get in mainstream lines in the parks and I will like proper mainstream bus stop lines that are not difficult to use and understand and use by everyone.

    10. I also would like WDW to please carefully consider the individual wheelchair user that completely depends on their wheelchair for their mobility and take their needs into consideration for space needed and concern for other guests, childern that might be to close to them and might inadvertently harm their wheelchair equipment.

    11. I would also especially remind WDW that there are wheelchair owners the are not only completely dependent on their own wheelchair to get around, but also completely dependent on their life using their onboard ventilator which is their life support. We all know how crowded some lines can be and how frustrated very tired guests can be at closing park times. What would happen...if in such a situation that I described above...that a person rushed past the person on life support and accidentally disconnected a piece of their tubing that was vital to their breathing using their ventilator. It would certainly be an accident. But this needs to be taken into consideration.

    Now think about how this same wheelchair/ventilator dependant person thinks about getting in line and waiting in line and worrying about the close encounters by guests/children on those dark, crowded, loud, bus line nights.

    Would you want your child or wife to feel this fear and anxiety of what may happen if someone accidently played with their ventilator tubing while in a bus line or on a dark, standing room only bus(loading or unloading with a full bus)?

    If any one from WDW is reading this post, please take in consideration these possible events.

    If any one from WDW is reading this post, please consider having a include a person or persons that actually uses a wheelchair in various transportation changes on your "think tank committee" that makes decisions on bus line changes and bus loading changes on a full bus.

    If any one from WDW is reading this post, please have someone that actually "finalizes" and "physically" makes signs, chain lines, white boxes on how the bus line and bus loading changes include a person or persons that actually uses a wheelchair in various transportation change.

    Woudn't this be a cost saving to WDW from having to make changes later.

    These are just my opinions.

    I like mainstreaming lines for myself.

    I don't like wheelchair dependent, ventilator dependent owners to worry about if they will not be able to breath and possibly die if a portable life support ventilator becomes disconnected by a walker in a hurry to catch up with family/friends in a bus line a brushes up against them.

    I don't like wheelchair dependent owners having to worry about their safety in crowded, dark lines.

    I dislike having to guess of where I should enter a bus line because of changes and no signs of instruction of what to do.

    I dislike having to think that other guests are thinking that I am breaking in line while doing what I have been told to do, but they don't know. It should would help with a simple sign of instruction for the wheelchair/scooter person to know what to do and to visible explain to the uninformed walker why.

    I dislike the inconsistancy of the way the bus stops are step up next to each other at the various parks/resorts in regards to there entrance for walkers, in regards to there lack of signs of instuction.

    O.K....I have had to much coffee at work this weekend and I am obviously a little overstressed.

    I apologize in advance if I have offended by any of my words.
     
  5. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    A lot of good points, Ray.

    For us, we mostly stay at OKW, which tends not to have the busiest bus stops. For getting on at the parks, we also usually try to schedule our trips to avoid the busiest times and if we see that there are so many people already waiting that the bus will be full, we usually wait away from the bus stop until that bus loads.

    Now, if they make all the bus stops Mainstream, we won't be able to do that because by waiting away from the line, another 50 people might join the line while we are waiting outside of the line.

    I agree they need to make things clear so people know what to do. We have already waited in the Mainstream Line and while we were waiting, 2 other guests with wheelchairs/ECVs drove up and parked where the back door of the bus would be. So, we didn't get onto the bus, but they did.

    The other problem I see is that when we have waited at the place where the wheelchair would board (so, not in the Mainstream Line) there are many times when there is a whole line of people waiting. We board first and ALL those people get on and get seats. If we were waiting in the line and had to wait to board until we got to the front of the line, we would not be able to board because the bus would be too crowded.
    That's not equal treatment because the people walking on are able to board when we would fit, but can't board because there is room to park, but not enough room to manouver into space and do a safe tiedown.

    As has already been reported on several other threads, people with ECVs and wheelchairs are ending up waiting thru MANY buses when all the people who came behind them were loaded and gone. The Mainstream lines may sound fair, but are not working.
     
  6. toocherie

    toocherie <img src=http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/images DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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    I just returned from 10 days at WDW and have to admit I was apprehensive about scooter use given the posts I had seen here prior to leaving for Florida, but am happy to report that we encountered no major issues. We were staying at the Treehouse Villas--which meant we had to take two busses--one to Saratoga Springs (most times the bus was empty either direction) and one from/to SSR from/to the park of the day. We avoided busy times too (except leaving Epcot at closing one night) and rarely had to wait for a second bus. Most times I was the only scooter/wheelchair user on board.

    I rented a Victory from Buena Vista and had no issues getting on or off a bus (I'll leave my boat experiences for another thread other than to note that WDW has changed the rules--for the better--about the DTD to resort boats and you pull straight in and back out instead of having to maneuver around the corner--thanks!) With a couple of exceptions the drivers were all great--although I do find the approaches to be varied among drivers--some leave it all to you (luckily I'm pretty good at parallel parking a scooter), some give verbal instructions, some choose to guide you in handling the tiller themselves and some prefer you to get off and they manually manuever it after taking it out of gear. I do agree with Ray's experience that it is hard to get off if you are the second device in and in the front--I usually do a three point turn to get down the ramp and can't do that if there is another device in the back position. Most of the drivers were extremely nice and were always saying--"take all the time you need"--even if the bus was full and we were at the first SSR stop with a lot of tired sleepy people who wanted to get back to their villas.

    I also wish there were better instructions at the stops about where wheelchair/scooter users are supposed to wait--I chose to enter the mainstream lines out of an abundance of caution twice--once at Hollywood Studios--and a CM came and brought me out of line and parked me out front so the bus driver could see me. I told her I thought we were supposed to get in the mainstream line and she was surprised and wanted to know how I knew thought--"well, the Disabilities board on Disboards" I replied. She thanked me for being considerate--but obviously has also been given the company line that it wasn't fair for wheelchair/scooter users to otherwise be loaded first because they could come up at the last minute and get in front of someone who had been waiting. (We were second in line when she removed me to the front.)

    At the aforementioned Epcot closing I also mainstreamed--and as it happened the bus would have been full whether we were walking or not--so we waited for the next bus and the driver loaded us first as usual.

    I also wanted to say that I usually make a practice of talking to people around me in line -- just my way of being friendly and hoping that they won't be as annoyed as they might otherwise be since I am a "known" person rather than the lady on a scooter (who they don't know has several medical issues making it difficult to walk long distances).

    We did have one negative incident which luckily I didn't witness (or I might be in jail right now). Another friend of ours (also a scooter user--she has a herniated disc from a fall as an OR nurse several years ago--and also overweight) who joined up with us one day. I wasn't in the park yet because I had work to do back at the villa (dern clients!). Anyway, walking traffic stopped in front of her and my other friend (who was walking in front of the scooter), so she stopped after our walking friend stopped and a man not paying attention walked into her, fell and when he pushed her caused her to hit her tiller which caused her to run into our friend's leg (owwieee!) Ok, accidents happen, but instead of apologizing for what he did, he screamed" "I am so sick of fat women on scooters in the parks!" Luckily for him I wasn't there and our walking friend was too busy rubbing her leg to hear him because he DID NOT want to tangle with us.

    Anyway, to sum up, no major issues from our trip and I am also glad that Disney provides accommodations for mobility device users.
     
  7. CurlyJo224

    CurlyJo224 DIS Veteran

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    We took my MIL two years ago, and she had to use an ECV. We rented the ones in the parks, but if we go with her again, we'll rent one for the week. I'm with you. If that had happened to my MIL, I or DH (or both) would probably be in jail.
     
  8. kath2me

    kath2me Mouseketeer

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    I have always used Apple Scooter, Alex there is just terrific, I get the same scooter I have at home the Go Fo Elite Traveler
     
  9. ForAandA

    ForAandA Tiggerlicious

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    Good morning!

    Dh is finally able to come to Disney with me on my next trip! Last time he went with me was in January 2009. We used the Dream scooter due to Dh's size.

    Can anyone recommend an ECV for "Pooh" sized guests? Dh is about 350, and 6 foot 3.

    Thank you in advance!
     
  10. fireplug46

    fireplug46 Earning My Ears

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    when I called the operations office she told me if you can get it inside that box no matter if you had to turn the wheel it would be loaded and it is not 60 inches long when the bus would get to the bus stop I would have the scooter inside the box so he would see it would fit
     
  11. fireplug46

    fireplug46 Earning My Ears

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    In may 2011 I visited Disney I had rented a Dream scooter and at first I had some problems with some of the bus drivers about loading the dream scooter I had one driver at Downtown Disney call his manager when He came over to the bus stop He looked at the scooter and asked will it fit I told him that it would He then asked if I could back it on again I said yes after I got it loaded He said if I had any more problems to call him and He gave me his business card when I called the operations office she told me if you can get it inside that box no matter if you had to turn the wheel it would be loaded and it is not 60 inches long it has about 2 inches on each side when the bus would get to the bus stop I would have the scooter inside the box so he would see it would fit.after that I had no more problems.
     
  12. fireplug46

    fireplug46 Earning My Ears

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    The Dream scooters WILL fit on all Disney buses just tell the driver to call operations on the radio and they will set them straight. I loaded one on two lift buses during my last stay in may/june
     
  13. mgaringer

    mgaringer Earning My Ears

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    The 48 inches long by 30 inches wide should not be difficult to stay within.
    I am a large person that weights 385 lbs so I need a heavy duty scooter. I rent a PRIDE MAXAMA from Buena Vista Scooter Rentals. According to the PRIDE brochure even this large heavy duty scooter is only 46.5 inches long by 28 inches wide. In 2009 I never had anyone tell me that I couldn't ride a bus or go anywhere.
    Mike
     
  14. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    Correct - As of this time, only the Dream Scooter does not fit on the bus. Pretty much all commercially available scooters, including all Pride models, fit at this time.
     
  15. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    The bolded information is not correct.

    A spokesperson for the company that rents the Dream wrote a PM to me about the buses. I added the information into the disABILITIES FAQs thread in the bus information.
    He said that they have discussed with the WDW Transportation Department and has been told that the Dream scooter can not be used on the buses with lifts. The spokesperson from the rental company said the Dream will be allowed on the buses with ramps as long as it fits into box with the front tire turned.


    His PM said that people renting the Dream Scooter are told not to get on to a bus with a lift, but to ask the driver to call for a bus with a ramp. (Since you did not know this, it appears they did not inform you).

    I do not have confirmation of this from WDW Transportation.

    There are 3 reason for not allowing the Dream Scooter to use the lifts:

    1) It is too heavy to safely use the lifts. They were designed for a device that weighs no more than 600 pounds - including the weight of the user.

    2) It is too large for the lifts - The lifts were designed for devices that are no larger than 30 by 48. This is the total length, not the length with one wheel turned in; the lifts were not designed for a device that is longer.

    3) I have been told by WDW bus drivers that loading the Dream scooters was putting excessive wear on and damaging the lifts.
    The video that was posted on the Dream Scooter site showing boarding a lift bus advised backing onto the lift until the scooter hit the back of the lift and then stopping and turning the front tire to fit on the platform.
    As far as I know, the company renting the Dream Scooters has pulled this video off of their website since they were told the scooter should not be used on buses with lifts.
     
  16. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

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    I know its been awhile since this topic has been visited but I just got my reservation confirmation from Scooter Vacations and they point out this:

    Hopefully this helps :)
     
  17. dansamy

    dansamy DIS Veteran

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    Is this still the case with the Dream scooter? It appears to be the most stable looking, comfortable scooter model and I was looking at renting one for our trip which starts 02/24.
     
  18. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    As far as I know, yes, it does not fit on Disney buses. It is larger than is defined as a "mobility device" by the ADA, and therefore is larger than the tie-down spots on Disney buses. It cannot be tied down safely, even without a passenger, and would end up blocking part of the aisle or seats, thereby created a potential safety hazard to other guests.

    It is also larger than almost any place created for an ECV or wheelchair. You may find some queues rather tight, as it is longer than a "standard mobility device" (which is what the queues were built for), and therefore has a longer turning radius. It may also be a tight squeeze to fit into any of the wheelchair spots in shows and theaters. It will definitely be a difficult squeeze into some elevators.

    Even if you did take it on a bus, you would have to be a VERY competent driver to handle something that large in the parks, i.e. driving and turning backwards to get into and out of elevators, etc.

    There is no ride vehicle which can accommodate the Dream scooter, either. All vehicles will require transfer.

    It sits quite a bit higher than most mobility devices (as does my powerchair) and I can say from experience that the height makes it more difficult to see curb cuts and other obstacles on the ground.

    I know I more than answered your question, but as this topic has been dormant for a while, I wanted to refresh any other curious minds about why the DREAM scooter is not allowed on Disney buses.
     
  19. dansamy

    dansamy DIS Veteran

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    So, it's still allowed on the ramp-style bus, but not the lift-type? And this would be our first time needing an assistive device. My DH had a stroke in Jan. He has very poor balance and some residual weakness and neuropathy. He's currently using a walker at home and is off work while doing PT to regain strength and endurance. He's an airplane mechanic and usually walked 8-10 miles per day. This has been a very difficult adjustment for him. I just want him to be able to enjoy the parks without too much additional stress regarding his lack of mobility. I want him to be comfortable and not feel like he's missing out due to limited visibility from a low seated position.
     
  20. KPeveler

    KPeveler Moderator Moderator

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    No, they are not allowed on any bus, as they do not fit into the tie-down area. Some people have reported they were allowed on some buses, but the policy is that Dream scooters are not allowed on any bus. You may encounter difficulties if you rent this scooter.

    I understand the difficulties of suddenly being thrust into the world of disabilities. I am only 28, and I have only had a chair for 3 years (though I used one at Disney before that). It is not an easy process, and I wish you both all the best of luck with the recovery process.

    I understand wanting the higher vantage point, but if he is not used to driving a scooter, he may find this one a little hard to handle. In fact, that is something one person posted - that it was great for experienced users, but beginners may find it difficult to drive.

    I also wanted to note that driving a scooter is incredibly tiring. You need VERY fast reflexes, good peripheral vision in both eyes, and good stamina, both in terms of hand strength and mental stamina to look out for people. He may want to practice using a scooter at home before going to Disney.

    You may also be able to rent one at home, or even have insurance buy one for him to aid him in places other than Disney. That way it would be the right model for him, and he would help regain his independence at home as well as on vacation. Just something you may want to consider looking in to.

    Check out some of the other posts on this board, and feel free to create your own post asking for tips and advice - its amazing the wealth of knowledge here, and I am sure there have been others on this board with a similar experience to your. I hope you have a wonderful trip and wish you all the best.
     
  21. dansamy

    dansamy DIS Veteran

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    Ok. I think I'll call them and change to another model. I don't want to risk being denied bus transport. We'll be at AKL and so we'll be bussing everywhere. If we were at BLT, I'd be fine just monorailing to MK and EPCOT.

    Re: insurance and buying (or renting) one for at home - At this point, he's very early in the recovery and until we know what residual deficits will be permanent, insurance has provided him with a walker, shower chair and PT. If he's unable to regain a good sense of balance or any significant endurance/stamina or motor control, then I suppose we, our MD and the insurance company will have to look at what coverages we have and what's appropriate. They won't consider any of his deficits permanent until 3-6 months post-stroke and post-PT.

    Right now, at home, he "cruises" the furniture inside our home and I haven't had to take him to the store with me, so he hasn't needed to use one of theirs. He uses the walker when we go to our homeschool group, Scout meetings, etc. His daily walking is less than 250ft right now. He simply doesn't have any stamina or endurance to do more than that. Grocery shopping is absolutely out of the question. Certainly, 10 miles a day for his job (or WDW) is impossible.

    I had taken some time off for our anniversary and since he's out anyway and we had points, WTH - we'll go to WDW for a couple days. We've been numerous times. We've ridden all the "must-see" rides numerous times. We're ok with a slower-paced trip. It's a bit impromptu anyway.
     

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