Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

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Vincent
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Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by Vincent » Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:19 pm

Hi, I'm new, here is my official forum introduction: http://www.allchile.net/chileforum/topic4669.html

Curious if there are any fellow disabled forum members that wouldn't mind sharing their experiences for Chile in general and Santiago specifically. Would also love to here from the non-disabled if they have experiences through family, friends or work in the social sciences.

Arriving Santiago Oct. 15, 2010 - staying in hotel, finding a place to live (we like urban), close to an accessible metro de Santiago station. We are very excited.

Thanks in advance for your time and consideration.
Vincent

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admin
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Re: Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by admin » Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:28 pm

Not in a wheelchair myself, but just some thoughts on the subject. Most places are suppose to be accessible, but there is no enforcement that I am aware of in Chile. Newer curbs will have a ramp, but I would say be ready to go 4x4 at any time on the street because sidewalks are inconsistent to say the least ( they are sometimes not easy going on two legs ). Los condes up will have the newest everything. Vina del mar has fairly new infrastructure also. Public transportation, forget about it. Metro perhaps. Banks all seem to have ramps that I can think of for the most part. I am however not certain that all metro stops have elevators. They definitely have some long staircases in to and out of them in Santiago. Malls for the most part that I have seen are fairly easy to get around, including elevators down to the parking garages.

I would also say it might be worth your time and money to work out a deal with a full-time radio taxi driver that you can build a relationship with. That way you do not have to deal with trying to flag a taxi on the street. Also you will likly just save some money, plus have a person on call that knows the city and you have a relationship with for helping figure things out. Good idea for anyone, with or without a wheelchair new to Santiago.
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carica
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Re: Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by carica » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:37 pm

I got curious because I do remember many metro stations in Santiago as having elevators (as compared to the dismal accessibility of the subte in Buenos Aires where I currently live). So I went to their website and found that most are indeed outfitted to be universally accessible. However, the lines built before the 1990s are not. Those would be lines 1 and part of line 2. Supposedly 71% of the stations will be outfitted by the end of 2010.

A positive point is that they have a special plan for facilitating access for people in wheelchairs at the stations where they are not equipped by calling 800 540 800 and requesting the service. Of course, it requires advance planning and I imagine that it limits spontaneity.

This is the website I culled the info from: http://www.metrosantiago.cl/ciudad/accesibilidad

As far as the Metrotren in Valparaíso, Chile, which runs through part of Viña (the central plaza Vergara, for ex.) and into the region, all of the stations are equipped with ramps if they are above ground, and with elevators if they are below. Their website doesn't specify but I lived there and the system was finished in 2004 or 2005, well after the 1996 accessibility laws.

Vincent
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Re: Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by Vincent » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:58 pm

Dear carica and admin...Thank you all so much for providing such helpful information for us but for others who like break perceived travel barriers (and our equipment).

I am getting the same i.e. pre-1990 metro de santiago stations and that they are indeed working on make them all accessible.

As you enjoy the movie called "Chile" if you could look at the feeder bus systems for accessibility? The will proudly bear the wheelchair symbol on them...we are really hoping to find a S. American country that has wc accessible city buses as this allows us to get off the metro line a little further.

Best Regards,

Vincent

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zer0nz
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Re: Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by zer0nz » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:26 pm

The bus system that feeds the metros in santiago SOME do have wheel chair friendly busses.....

however you have 99% of those buses are
1. operated by drivers who wouldn't give a damn, nor know how to manoeuvre the bus into a position to get the wheelchair on or off...
2. Buses that often miss the stop due to traffic problems, bad bus stop design, bad road layout
3. Bus stops that are in terrible places, power lines guide wires in the way
4. Huge amounts of over crowding
this is only to list some of the problems, not to mention the bus that stops in the middle lane to let people off because there is a car in the bus lane...

so attempting to take a bus, you may get on but have trouble getting off, you may never get on to it at all in the first place....

as for the access for wheel chairs in the metro, baquanado is a example going from one platform to another will take you a good 20 minutes as it involves multiple elevators to connect the maze of tunnels...

also i noticed the other day they are moving line 4 trains onto line 1... when they do this there is a 5cm step from the platform into the train.... i thought to my self this is a waste of all this money they are investing in wheel chair access.... i don't take the metro much since i brought the car, but if anyone could comment further on this it may hlep

Pretty much the public transport system for a person in a wheel chair in my opinion would be not usable between 7am and 10am, and 5pm and 9pm, and would be stressful any other time...

i would recommend finding a wheel chair friendly raido taxi driver and have him on call for when you need to go out.....

also, a chileans idea of "wheel chair friendly" would mean there are 2 strong guys to lift the person,

I don't want to put you off the place, i guess just saying i hope your patient and dont mind keeping a plan b, c, d, e and F

Good Luck.....

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Re: Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by j. Ro » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:48 pm

My cousin is in a wheelchair and when down to Chile for my wedding in May 2008.

My observations were that he could get to most places (80%) with out any assistance. But there were a number of places he did have troubles getting to and required me brother and me to carry him up or down stairs. At the older metro stations they usually have a couple guards on duty that will be able to help you down to the platform. And you will find yourself hoping up and down a few curbs. Newer buildings are fully accessible but seems like the code requirements for ramp slope are a little more relaxed (a few of them are really really steep).

My cousin also didn't like some of the sidewalks... Chile uses some sort of tile to build there side walls and some of the patterns have deep grooves that will catch the front tires (his front tires will more like inline skate wheels) and there some areas with coble stone style streets that will catch the tires.

All in all it is possible to get around but it won't always be easy.
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Re: Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by admin » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:39 pm

zer0nz wrote:The bus system that feeds the metros in santiago do have wheel chair friendly busses..... i think 90% of them are...

however you have 99% of those buses are
1. operated by drivers who wouldn't give a damn, nor know how to manoeuvre the bus into a position to get the wheelchair on or off...
2. Buses that often miss the stop due to traffic problems, bad bus stop design, bad road layout
3. Bus stops that are in terrible places, power lines guide wires in the way
4. Huge amounts of over crowding
this is only to list some of the problems, not to mention the bus that stops in the middle lane to let people off because there is a car in the bus lane...

so attempting to take a bus, you may get on but have trouble getting off, you may never get on to it at all in the first place....

as for the access for wheel chairs in the metro, baquanado is a example going from one platform to another will take you a good 20 minutes as it involves multiple elevators to connect the maze of tunnels...

also i noticed the other day they are moving line 4 trains onto line 1... when they do this there is a 5cm step from the platform into the train.... i thought to my self this is a waste of all this money they are investing in wheel chair access.... i don't take the metro much since i brought the car, but if anyone could comment further on this it may hlep

Pretty much the public transport system for a person in a wheel chair in my opinion would be not usable between 7am and 10am, and 5pm and 9pm, and would be stressful any other time...

i would recommend finding a wheel chair friendly raido taxi driver and have him on call for when you need to go out.....

also, a chileans idea of "wheel chair friendly" would mean there are 2 strong guys to lift the person,

I don't want to put you off the place, i guess just saying i hope your patient and dont mind keeping a plan b, c, d, e and F

Good Luck.....
The Santiago bus system (a.k.a. transfiasco) is known for being hardly accessible to anyone, disabled or otherwise. I see on the news however that the new minister of transportation has been riding it to and from work regularly to see how it really is day to day. Perhaps there is hope, if the transportation minister is late to his meeting a few too many times.
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From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

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Re: Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by TheBIGGuy » Mon Sep 06, 2010 8:16 pm

Not in a wheelchair but having pushed a pram around Santiago you get a sense of the problems people in wheelchairs experience.

Couple of observations:
A lot of metro stations have lifts but the problem is many of them only go part of the way ie from the platform to the 1st level - only way from there is stairs and ocassionally elevators. Some metro stations are fantastic but many leave a lot to be desired. Even if they get you to the upper level there are often stairs all over the place.

Chileans have a habit of getting onto the metro and not moving all the way in to allow others into the train. Start practicing your pushing and shoving techniques and saying PERMISSO very load.

A lot of older buildings have very small lifts. We have had found a lot of stuff that should fit into a lift has to be carried up the stairs. Not sure how much of a problem this might be.

On the plus side Santiago is very flat with not a lot of hills.

Good Luck

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Re: Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by zer0nz » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:56 am


Vincent
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Re: Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by Vincent » Wed Sep 08, 2010 1:23 pm

Great article, observation! The are in the process here of replacing the private chiva's with Metro Plus (integrated). It will be interesting to see how the orderly conduct of today will compare to the tomorrows public integrated system.

I can state for a fact...that this is a great general update for anyone wc bound for Santiago!

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Re: Wheelchair Experience in Santiago?

Post by zer0nz » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:33 pm

Wheel Chair article, comes down to 2 points really, as i explain below!
http://www.ilovechile.cl/2011/02/17/its ... 0%A6/17613

We had to sit the guy who made our computer desks down today and ask him to try and use the computer, when he bannged his knees onthe back of the desk he finnaly saw what the problem was,

the stupid thing is the other 5 offices he did first, No one complained????

1. The people who make things and design things alot of the time dont use them, so therefore dont make good designs, and often couldnt care less for the $US 1000 a month they make

2. People in chile just dont complain, they just deal with it!, the amount of times i have ripped a broken keyboard or mouse off a computer and told them to go and get a new one is amazing, chileans just accept things as they are....

anyway, the article is worth the read for anyone travelling here with a wheel chair....

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