disabled in paris

Old Jun 8th, 2002, 09:50 AM
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disabled in paris

I have a friend who is taking his elderly parents to Paris (everyone's first trip)this fall. His father is slightly disabled and sometimes tires easily. Any suggestions on how to advise them getting around? I have been to Paris many times, but always walk extensively and take the metro. I have only taken taxis a handful of time and cannot even remember if they are easily accesable (I recall they can only be hailed at marked locations I think) or expensive.
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 10:13 AM
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Buses would be a good alternative. They can find the various routes at ratp.fr . Taxis are not expensive and usually able to be hailed on the street or cab stands.
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 10:53 AM
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Laura--I am leaving Thursday for a week in France(4 days in Paris) with my brother, who is in a wheel chair. We looked at several options, but finally decided to stay in a ground level apartment, rather than a hotel. We will have a rental car, becuse our first few days are going to be in the Loire Valley, attending the 24 Hours of Le Mans auto race.

Using comments from this board, I have hired Michael Osman as a guide to go with us for our sightseeing in Paris. I found an excellent small guide book published and sold in the AAA ofice which listed the level of handicap accessibility in the major museums and sights of Paris. I can't remember the exact name of the guidebook--my brother has it at his home, but it is not part of The Spiral Guide series, nor is it one of the materials they give free to members. I was gratified to find it, as very few of the major guidebooks were as thorough about level of access.

Please feel free to e-mail me, and I will be happy to share more input upon my return. Barb
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 12:35 PM
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Barb -
Thanks so much for the info. I would very much like to keep in touch and hear how you did. My friend's father is not totally disabled. He has been quite ill, however. He has good days and bad days, and I worry that without the stamina to walk or get in and out of metro stations, he will miss much. I like the idea of having a guide on occasion. Does he come with a car? What is the cost?
I will keep your email address, and invite you to keep mine as well. I would love to hear from you upon your return.
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 12:54 PM
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Do a search on Michael Osman--he is well recommended by many on this forum. His fee is $75 per day. He does not have a car; I already had plans to rent one. Even if you didn't have a car, he would be of great help in planning an itinerary and using your best choices in transportation, whether it's by cab or by bus, depending on the sight you are going to.

If your father can walk some, but tires easily, many metro stations would be a challenge, as there tends to be a lot of stairs going up, around, and over tracks when changing trains. The Paris Metro is wonderful, but can be very difficult for the physically challenged.

If your Dad can get up and down onto buses, you may want to follow Grtchn's advise and use buses. You can also see more that way. Unfortunately, that's not an option for my brother, who is completely wheelchair bound.

I love Paris, and I am looking forward to sharing it with my brother; I have a feeling my eyes will be opened to how blessed the rest of us are who have our mobility.

I will post a report on my return; be sure to e-mail me with further questions. Barb
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 02:01 PM
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Taxis can be hailed in the streets as long as you're at a certain distance from a taxi spot (in order to avoid taxis picking up people in the street when either other people or other taxis are waiting in line nearby). It's the taxi driver who would be at fault if he picked you up, and most of them will respect this rule (their colleagues wouldn't appreciate seeing a potential customer boarding another car while they've been waiting for him for half an hour at a taxi stop). If taxis seem to consistently refuse to stop when you hail them, you should check around for a taxi spot (or alternately reconsider your Hell's angels clothing)

When hailing a taxi, you must know that when the white thing with "taxi" written on it above the car is alight, it means that its meter is working, hence that it has passengers or is going somewhere to pick them up. So, it won't stop. You should hail taxis only when the said light is out. Which is quite inconvenient, since taxis with the light on are much easier to spot from a distance.

Also, available = light off isn't very logical and doesn't make it in people's mind. And you can see the result in Paris streets, with people insisting on hailing taxis with passengers and ignoring available taxis.

The cost is of course highly dependant on the distance, but also on the hour (a higher rate is applied after 7 p.m., IIRC). During the day, it should be somewhere between 5 and 13 euros, in most cases. A 10% tip is appreciated, but not required.
Old Jun 8th, 2002, 02:06 PM
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I would add that unfortunately a lot of taxis won't stop for a customer in a wheelchair (though they legally should).
Old Jan 9th, 2003, 08:50 AM
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Trying to find Barb's report...I know Barb did a great trip report when she got back, but I cannot locate it. She had some fantastic suggestions, insights, etc. about navigating museums, etc.

Barb, are you out there?
Old Jan 22nd, 2003, 09:16 PM
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I haven't been on the boards for several months, but we're planning a trip for May and will probably go to Paris again--Does anybody ever tire of Paris?
I'll try to locate my trip report, but feel free to email me if you have questions. I just put together the scrapbook of my trip, so everything is fresh in my mind.
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 09:45 AM
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Virtually impossible at the Louvre, try the Musee d'orsay
Old Jan 24th, 2003, 07:40 PM
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My brother found the Louvre to be accomodating, including accessible restrooms, elevators, and accessible parking. We were unable to park near the d'Orsay, so didn't go in there at all. We should have dropped him at the entrance, then parked underground and met him at the entrance.
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