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Seeing Paris on a mobility scooter

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Nov 2nd, 2008, 06:15 AM
  #1
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Seeing Paris on a mobility scooter

In October 2008 I needed to go to a foodshow (SIAL) in Paris and realized that I needed to use a mobility scooter to achieve maximum value from my trip. I own a Celebrity X which is a good unit but decided to rent one. I used a company called Scootaround tel (888-441-7575) They delivered a scooter to the Minneapolis airport. I had told US Airways that I was going to bring one. Under American Diabilities law they will transport it for free. I drove it right to the gate and when I got there they took it and put it under the plane in baggage; I had attached the key to a bicycle lock cord on it so it won't get lost. When I got to Paris they met my flight and took me by wheelchair to the luggage area and there was my scooter. I then drove it outside to where my taxi was waiting. France has a great service called G7 which are taxis that have a ramp built into them. You can call them from the US at 011331 47 39 47 39 or in france at 01 47 39 47 39 and schedule pickup. They whisked me to my hotel in paris. I found all streets in Paris handicapped friendly. This is because they are built for the many baby buggies that French people like to push with their children in them. We used the scooter to go all over and did one trip that was at least 5 miles shopping and dining. Some of the restaurants don't have access but many do. Funny story: I went to the Red Tour Bus by the Eiffel Tower and the friendly young man assured me that their bus was handicapped friendly. It has the ability to lower itself but the 24 inch wide scooter wouldn't go down the aisle. The Green Bus which goes different places would work we think.

Bottom Line: There is no reason a handicapped person can't use a scooter. There is a service that rents them in Paris but they are expensive and it is much easier to bring a US model with you.
deanhughson is offline  
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Nov 2nd, 2008, 09:41 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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This will be very good information for many people, as it's hard to find.

I don't think Paris sidewalks are easy because they are built for baby buggies (which I've rarely seen in central Paris, at least not the big ones if that's what you mean), but because they've redesigned some of them in the recent years in order to be more accessible to people with mobility problems. They did that in the US, also, some years ago.
Christina is online now  
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Nov 2nd, 2008, 11:07 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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This is terrific information to help folks with mobility issues plan a trip to Paris. A couple of weeks ago, I saw a fellow on a bus in Paris using this type of device. He made sure that the driver knew which stop he intended to get off at and the ramp was put down for his use. Not sure if all of the buses in Paris are equipped but this one was and it's a great way to get around.
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Nov 3rd, 2008, 07:08 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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I used a mobility scooter this summer in Paris and Dublin for two weeks in each city. In Paris, the scooter worked fine. I just had to remember to bring electrical conversion equipment to recharge it. The scooter is a Scootie Jr., which weights 62 pounds. I was stopped at least 7 different times and asked about the scooter and where one could be purchased.

It worked well in Paris, as deanhughson has already described. I had no major sproblem on the buses. Some minor inconveniences, but that is to be expected. For example - at times the bus ramp would not extend, and I had to wain for the next bus or the driver would not stop when I rang the handicapped push bell, etc. Most buses seemed to have the back door ramp loading system, which all in all, worked well. Dublin, Ireland had the front door loading, and it was more difficult.

I never used the metro because of the steps going down and up. I was not willing to ask my wife to carry the chair up and down the stairs, and elevators are few and FAR between, if they even work.

Scooter was transported by United Airlines with no problem. Air Lingus was another matter. The baggage handlers would not load it. The ticket agent told me to just wait til the next shift came aboard and the problem would be solved. They did and it was. I had no problem with Ryanair. Just make SURE you call ahead and let the airlines, any airline, that you are bringing a scooter and you will have no problem. Do NOT just show up and expect to be accommodated.
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Nov 3rd, 2008, 07:38 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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We took my MIL on a 2 week trip this past summer. We had an EZTravel for her (25 kg, fully folds in one piece).

3 days in London. No problem with taxis, due to size.

Car rental in Ireland, got a real small minivan, put the scooter in first, luggage for 4 on top, no problem. We went everywhere.

Cotswold's area, once again rented a station wagon. Scooter fitted in easily.

No problems with United or RyanAir. Only problem was the battery charger quit on the 1st day, but I found an electronics store in London and built one that got us through the rest of the trip.

It made travel really nice, plus I attached some hooks on the back of the chair and she became our "pack mule" for backpacks as we walked around.

dave
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