For teens and young adults being able to travel independently is an exciting new possibility and can expand opportunities including maintaining employment, attending college and/or vocational training, participating in activities, and gaining additional independence. Depending on where you live, there are many different types of transportation options available to transitioning youth including public transit, paratransit, driving a car, and taxi services.
Public Transit & Paratransit
Public Transit includes fixed route public transportation by bus, subway, and light rail. There are multiple public transit agencies in Maryland. The two largest agencies are the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
In addition, many counties and cities have their own public transit systems. Please visit your county website and look under Transportation for additional public transit options in your area.
Paratransit includes door-to-door service for people with disabilities who are functionally unable to ride fixed-route public transportation, including accessible lift-equipped and low floor buses and accessible subway and light rail trains. Because paratransit is typically provided in areas with fixed route transportation it is only available in the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas.
Baltimore Metropolitan Area: Services in Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties and Baltimore City are provided within three-quarters of a mile of any fixed-route service. Click here for more information on mobility services.
Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: Services in Montgomery and Prince Georgeís Counties are provided within three-quarters of a mile of any fixed route service including bus or metro station.
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Travel training is designed to teach individuals with disabilities how to travel safely and independently on accessible fixed route public transportation: bus, subway and light rail. Specially trained personnel provide the travel training in a group or on a one-to-one basis. Travel training is provided by both the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
MTA: The Maryland Tranist Administration's Mobility Paratransit Program now provides travel training in parterniship with the IMAGE Center for the Baltimore metropolitan region. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 443-275-9393.
WMATA: The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority provides travel training on its Metrorail and Metrobus systems to groups and individuals in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Click here for more information on how to receive training.
Additional information can be found on the Travel Training Fact Sheet.
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Driverís Education & Licenses
Rookie Driver Program: The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has created a website to assist teen drivers in driverís education, applying for a permit and license, and explaining the different laws that affect teen drivers in Maryland. Click here to visit the Rookie Driver Program website.
For parents, the MVA has developed a new brochure titled Parents: YOU Hold the Keys to Your Teenís Driving. This brochure provides parents with information and tips for setting rules with your teen driver, including the use of seat belts, cell phones, texting, and having passengers in the car. For more information visit the MVAís Young Driver Safety for Teens and Parents website.
Driverís Education: The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) suggests that students with disabilities choose a driving school with instructors and equipment designed for their specific needs such as hand controls or an adjustable steering column. Click here for additional tips on selecting a driving school. For a listing of certified driving schools in your area click here.
For students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, multiple community colleges in Maryland provide driverís education courses with communication accommodations. There are no age restrictions for attending a driving school at a community college and students currently in high school are eligible to attend. Click here for a list of schools. If there is not a school on the list in your area, you may need to contact additional driverís education schools and inquire about accommodations. Click here for a full list of driving schools in Maryland.
Learnerís Permit Exam: The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has developed a new website with an online practice test for new drivers. The practice test can be taken with or without a timer. Because the test includes a sample of topics, the MVA recommends that the practice test be used as a study guide in addition to studying the Maryland Drivers Handbook.
Accommodations for the Learnerís Permit Exam: The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will provide the Learnerís Permit exam verbally to students in need of accommodations. Students interested in this option will need to contact their local MVA office prior to taking the exam to request accommodations. In addition, the MVA has developed an audio version of the Maryland Driver Handbook.
Reporting Medical Conditions: Maryland law requires that drivers notify the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) of certain medical conditions when he or she is applying for a new driverís license, renewing an existing driverís license, or when a condition is diagnosed. Click here for a list of conditions and how to notify the MVA.
When notification is made, the Driver Wellness and Safety Division (DW&S) may send additional forms for the driver or their physician to complete. Upon reviewing the completed forms, the DW&S may refer the driver to the Medical Advisory Board (MAB), which is a group of physicians who review an individualís driving abilities. There is no fee associated with this process and all medical information is kept confidential.
After the review, the DW&S will make a decision about whether to apply driving restrictions. Examples of restrictions are corrective lenses, hand controls, automatic transmission required, daytime driving only, etc. Click here for a full list of restrictions.
Vision Screening: All Maryland drivers must meet certain vision requirements to receive a license. Vision screening can be done at the MVA or by a vision specialist. To quality for an unrestricted driverís license, drivers must have binocular vision, vision acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye, and a continuous field of vision of at least 140 degrees. Restricted licenses may be issued to drivers with visual acuity of at least 20/70 in one or both eyes and a continuous field of vision of at least 110 degrees. Click here for more information on vision screening, or to download the vision screening form for a vision specialist to complete.
In addition, drivers with vision levels less than 20/70, but not higher than 20/100, may also apply for a license at MVAís Headquarters office located in Glen Burnie. For more information, contact the MVAís Modified Vision Unit at 410-768-7513.
Eligible for Services from the Division of Rehabilitation Services?
The Division of Rehabilitation Servicesí Adaptive Driving program provides evaluations and education to assist youth in obtaining a driverís license. Click here if you are eligible for services through the Division of Rehabilitation Services and would like more information about driverís education.
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Additional Driving Resources
Auto Insurance: The Maryland Insurance Administration has created a guide specifically addressing auto insurance for teens and young adults. Click here to view the Consumer Guide To Auto Insurance For Teens & Young Adult Drivers please.
License Plates & Placards: Click here for information on how to apply for a disability license plate or placard.
Purchasing a Vehicle: The Assistive Technology Loan Program helps individuals with disabilities qualify for low-interest loans to buy equipment, including vehicles and vehicle modifications, that will help them live, work, and learn more independently. Individuals with disabilities and their family members are eligible to apply. While not everyone who applies will be approved, the programís criteria is less stringent than many banks and interest rates are generally below market. Click here for more information on how to apply.
- Vehicle Modifications
For information on vehicle modifications including locating a mobility equipment dealer or driver rehabilitation specialist, visit the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association.
- The Maryland Technology Assistance Program provides low interest loans to eligible individuals for the purchase assistive technology devices, including vehicle modifications.
- The Division of Rehabilitation Services also provides vehicle modification services. Click here if you are eligible for services through the Division of Rehabilitation Services and would like more information.
- While most vehicle modifications can be done in-state by a Maryland dealer, if you are interested in a particular brand that is not sold in Maryland, or reside in an area where a Maryland dealer is not in close proximity, you may need to research additional dealers in neighboring states through the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association.
Maryland Vehicle Mobility Dealers
- Oneness Mobility Services
7620 A Penn Belt Dr.
Forestville, MD 20747
Web Site: http://www.onenessmobility.com
- Auto Assist, Inc.
5002 Lehigh Ave.
College Park, MD 20740
Web Site: http://www.autoassistinc.com
(website is currently down)
- Koons Ford of Annapolis
2540 Riva Rd.
Annapolis, MD 21401
Web Site: http://www.koonsford.com
11409 Maryland Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705
Web Site: http://www.Ride-AwayMD.com
- BEDCO Mobility
6300 Falls Rd., Suite 2
Baltimore, MD 21209
Web Site: http://www.bedcomobility.com
- Truck'n America Mobility Equipment
2130 Old Washington Rd.
Waldorf, MD 20601
Web Site: http://www.trucknamerica.com
- AA Eastern Mobility, Inc.
P. O. Box 415
4 Council Drive
Woodsboro, MD 21798
Web Site: www.easternmobility.com
14133 Pennsylvania Avenue
Hagerstown, MD 21742
Web Site: www.customizersconversions.com
- TTI Mobility Products
321-A S. Division Street
Fruitland, MD 21826
Phone: (800) 576-4323
Web Site: www.totravelindependently.com
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Taxi services are available to eligible individuals with disabilities in both the Baltimore and Washington, DC metropolitan areas. For more information including how to apply, please contact the service program in your area as each program has its own eligibility criteria.
Baltimore Metropolitan Area: In the Baltimore metropolitan region, taxi cab services are available to certain MTA paratransit certified customers within the MTA Mobility service area. This service is not part of MTA Mobilityís service but rather a separate and distinct MTA service provided under contract by participating area taxicab and sedan companies. For more information about taxi services, including information on how to apply, please view the Taxi Access Service brochure.
Washington, DC Metropolitan Area: In the Washington, DC metropolitan area there are taxi cab services to serve individuals with disabilities, including the Call ĎNí Ride program in Montgomery County and the Call-A-Cab program in Prince Georgeís County. Click here for more information on these programs and other accessible transporation options in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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