Accessible transportation in Beijing
MemberFebruary 8, 2021 at 10:18 am
Just wondering what accessible transportation is like in Beijing if you use a power wheelchair.
Is the subway the best option, or are there accessible taxis available?
MemberFebruary 8, 2021 at 6:34 pm
I think subway is the best choice.
When I am in Beijing, I search the accessibility information on the Official Accounts called 创益行（chuang, yi, xing）on wechat before hanging out, it would tell me everything about the subway station, such as the elevator, the accessible toiler, etc.
Actually, the Beijing subway, especially the new lines, are pretty accessible, and when I enter the station, the subway staff member will come to help me get on the subway.
But remember, think twice and search more information when you try to take line 1 and 2. Since these two lines are quite old, there are some stations that do not have accessibilities. Some do have, but they are not so good. And since line 1 and 2 is in the center of Beijing, so if you want to visit places like the Imperial Palace (in the center), maybe you’d better try other transportation. But if you want to visit Summer Palace (can be reached by line 4), you can go without hesitation, since it’s pretty accessible.
Besides, I heard from my friend that the company Didi (Chinese version Uber) has the service for wheelchair users. The drivers have been trained on how to service us. I haven’t tried it. But I guess in 2022 (Beijing Winter Olympics) things would be better.
By the way, I have also taken bus in Beijing, since I saw the accessible sign on the bus. But the driver are unwilling to put down the board which can let me get on, maybe because he is busy. Luckily, other passengers are very nice to help me （although my wheelchair is heavy）. So if you do need to take bus, you can try it (but you’d better go with your friend).
MemberFebruary 9, 2021 at 12:14 pm
Thank you for that great information!
Is there much information in English, or is it best to go with a guide?
MemberFebruary 9, 2021 at 12:43 pm
Emm to be honest I haven’t paid much attention to the English sign, since I generally read Chinese. In my memory, there are many English signs in the public places, but I cannot guarantee that they are enough for wheelchair users. I will come back to Beijing in March, I will collect more information about it and I will put it here.
However, the good news is that young people in Beijing is relatively good in English. So if you have any trouble, you can find a young man or woman, who look well-educated, and ask for their help. I always ask for people’s help when I cannot handle the situation.
Again, since Olympic Games are international events, every time when we hold these events, the accessible situation will be improved. There are many improvements after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, so I believe in 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the situation will be better. Can you imagine that the Great Wall (having many high steps) will be wheelchair accessible in 2022? I plan to go there in 2022.
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