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Mobility Assistance Scooter On Public Transportation in Fullerton and Los Angeles, California


6th Annual California Passenger Rail Summit
Wed. and Thu., April 18 and 19, 2018
Los Angeles Metro Board Room, 3rd Floor,
One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012
and Los Angeles Union Station Historic Ticket Office

For people who use mobility assistance, this year's report will include notes about traveling with an assistance scooter on trains, Metro light-rail, Uber, LAUS Station Tour, Regional Connector Tour, the Metro Board Room, and the conference hotel:  DoubleTree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown.

Mobility Assistance Scooter On Public Transportation

in Fullerton and Los Angeles, California

April 17 - 20, 2018  Report by Carl Morrison,

(Click any photo for a larger copy; click BACK in your browser to return to this page.)

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My scooter at our departing station, Fullerton, California.

Notes about using an assistance vehicle on a train trip to the California Passenger Rail Summit in Los Angeles, California from Fullerton, California.  Sue and I took Amtrak Surfliner from Fullerton to Los Angeles Union Station.  I purchased tickets online for "1 Coach Wheelchair Space" for me and "1 Unreserved Coach Seat" for Sue - both Seniors.  My ticket was labeled ADULT - DISABLED and Sue was COMPANION TO DISABLED.  I can transfer from the scooter, so when we were at the entrance to the car, the Conductor started to set up a ramp.  I announced that I could transfer, so I just lifted my 35 lb. scooter into the train.  She then directed me where to park the scooter and I set the brake and we used a regular lower-level seats.  There was a person in a wheelchair on the same car who could not transfer, so her wheelchair was locked down and her companions sat nearby.  I noticed that one companion was using sign language on a phone with a visual connection to a friend.


The Fullerton Station has a new parking garage.  I parked on the top level, took my scooter out of the back of our minivan and drove it to the elevator.

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Elevator from P4 to 2.  P1 is below street level.


Exit from the elevator is flat all the way across the Harbor Blvd. bridge (below) to the platform for your train.



The platform is aligned for a slight step into a Surfliner.  If you cannot transfer, but a companion can lift your vehicle into the car, that is the quickest entry, otherwise the Conductor will manually put down a ramp.  The cut curb you see above is for the station's electric luggage cart to cross the track, through an electric gate in the fence between Track 2 and 3 to pick up luggage from southbound trains.  If your train car door happens to stop at this cut curb, it is necessary to enter the car at about a 2 ft. step up.

This is an older photo of my late friend, Rex Harrod, using a Surfliner ramp in San Diego.


1930 Fullerton Station with no steps to enter the station nor the bathroom within.  Electric cart with seating and luggage space for ADA passengers.


Fullerton Station interior.

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8 ft. posters in the Fullerton Station.  One on the right is titled, "We Go where you want to go." (Click any poster for a larger copy.)


The adjoining Santa Fe Cafe, managed by Jose and Anna, is accessible with a scooter as well.


We would board on Track 1, nearest the station, but southbound Surfliners and Metrolinks would arrive on Track 3, on the right.  There is are elevators to cross the bridge and a second elevator is being added on borh sides.


In talking with firendly station agent, Bryant, he said the elevators were not working this day, so he had ordered a bus with a ramp to take passengers using mobility assistance around to the station.


Each Surfliner car can accommodate one assistance vehicle.  Nearly all cars have an ADA blue sign.  Some cars also accommodate bicycles.  Wait for the conductor to tell you which car to get on because from outside you have no ideal if that spot is taken in a car or not.  This was our train, which looks like it is coming in backwards, but this is a cab car with the locomotive in back in push mode.  Going south of LA they look normal with the locomotive leading.


The doors of the Surfliner are a few inches above the platform, but the Conductor will put down a ramp if you cannot transfer.


Ramp down to the tunnel below all 15 tracks with an exit on both the east and west ends of the station.  For Uber, taxi, or Hotel transportation, go out the west end to the Alameda entrance.


The tunnel under the 15 tracks at LA Union Station has elevators on the east end and is at street level on the west end.  At times this passageway can be wall-to-wall people, but the Regional Connector Transit Project will help a great deal.


Each time I have been in the tunnel there has been different art work or photography on display in glass cases.  This is Little tokoyo where our Doubletree by Hilton Hotel was located.


Waiting room entrance from the south patio.  All entrances to the waiting room have flat entrances - no steps.


Looking east in the Waiting Room.  200+ seats are for ticketed passengers only.


Looking west in the Waiting Room, toward the Alameda side where Uber, taxis, and hotel vans drop off and pick up.


I think LA Union Station looks best after sunset.  Pickup and drop off is to the left of those light posts.


The conference hotel was the Doubletree by Hilton Los Angeles Downtown located in Little Tokoyo. They have ADA rooms, but the toilets are very low and no risers are available.


This exit from the hotel onto 1st street is conveniently ramped.

The closest Metro ligh-trail station is at First and Alameda - about 2 blocks east of the hotel through Little Tokoyo.


Original Little Tokoyo shops still actively participating in commerce while the connector tunnels are being bored underneath.



The entrance to Little Tokoyo is conveniently ramped for assistance vehicles.


A large intersection at 1st and Alameda must be crossed to reach the Metro.  The entire intersection is a bridge with utilities hanging immediately below, and the Metro Connector tunnels far below that running under Little Tokoyo.  However, this new bridge was smoother for my scooter than the sidewalks in Little Tokoyo.


All Metro stations, even this temporary one, are accessible.


I awaited the Metro, running every 15 minutes, to take me and my scooter to the LA Station for the Summit opening.


The doors on the Metro align very nicely with the platforms and no need for a ramp even if you cannot transfer.


View from my scooter of the Metro car which had come from East LA through Little Tokoyo.


Metro seats at the second door to this car (above) fold up for assistance vehicle parking (below).



Hwy. 101 and the LA Union Station center-right, from my Metro car.


Hwy. 101, Metrolink trains, Metro Bldg., and Hollywood Hills beyond.


Metro at LA
station is at a level above the tunnel with an elevator down to the tunnel walkway.


Elevator at walkway level under the tracks.  Machine at the right for purchasing a TAP card or loading one. 
Passengers tap their card before boarding, security randomly checks riders if they paid.


There are elevators from the tunnel under the track up to street level of the East Entrance.  From there I took the sidewalk to the Metro Building and an elevator to the 3rd floor for the Summit.


Metro entrance with elevators and escalators to the theatre on 3rd floor.


The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board Room where the Summit was held is completely accessible with room at the top of the seating area for those who cannot transfer from their assistance vehicles.


I found that with a suitcase with 4 wheels I could take it with me, rolling on my left, as I rode to and from the train. - tell them Carl Morrison sent you.

To the full report on the 2018 California Passenger Rail Summit, click: