Transportation options are the key to independence for persons with autism who do not hold a driver’s license. Whether trying to access door to door transportation or riding a regular fixed fare bus the ability to access public transportation for students, young adults and adults with disabilities/autism is crucial. Available and understandable transportation provides opportunities for access to the community, employment recreation/leisure activities, and medical treatment. Accessing available transportation services can be a daunting task for some, while suburban and rural transportation opportunities can be even more difficult. The hard reality is that transportation may not be available when and where you need it and what is available depends on where you live. Although there has been progress in providing increased transportation options over the years there continues to remain difficulties in finding transportation, and options currently in place often change, while urban areas have more opportunities for obtaining transportation than rural areas. Currently, although varied from location to location, there are local “on demand” opportunities and specialized door to door programs that one has to schedule in advance and have strict eligibility requirements. How to find out what is available:
- Contact your local transportation authority.
- Understand that there will be challenges, changes, and competition for transportation that is available (i.e. elderly individuals needing to get to doctor appointments, dialysis patients, medical patients, and employment).
- Develop an alternate plan of action.
- Do not be bashful about asking friends, family and other natural supports to lend a hand – it takes a village.
- Talk to you employer and see if there is a ride/share program at your place of employment, or if they can assist in linking you with other employees who will assist with the commute (be willing to pay for gas).
- Ask for accommodations in your work schedule to assist with your commute, if necessary.