New in March 2012, DC reserved metered parking spaces for persons with disabilities at distinctive “red top” meters. This program sets aside curbside parking spaces for the exclusive use by persons with disabilities. About 400 red top meters are now installed throughout the Central Business District and the Federal corridors in the southwest quadrant of the city. The District Department of Transportation has temporarily halted the enforcement protocol it had set for the Red Top Meter program. Until further notice, vehicles displaying a valid disability placard or license plate may park at all meters without paying. These motorists may park for up to twice the amount of time allowed by the meter. Motorists that do not display a valid disability placard or license tags may park at any metered space, including Red Top meters, provided they pay the established meter rate.
Handicap Parking in Washington, DCThe DC Department of Motor Vehicles honors handicap parking permits from other states. Cars bearing disabled parking tags may park in designated spaces and park for double the posted time in metered or time-restricted spaces.
Accessible Passenger Loading Zones on the National Mall:
- National Museum of American History: Mall and Constitution Avenue entrances
- National Museum of Natural History: Mall entrance
- National Air and Space Museum: Mall entrance
- S. Dillon Ripley Center: Mall entrance
- Freer Gallery of Art: Independence Avenue entrance
- Colonial Parking in Capital Gallery (6th and Maryland Avenue, SW)
- Colonial Parking in the Holiday Inn (6th and C Streets, SW)
- and the Ronald Reagan Building (14th and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW)
Washington Metro Disabled AccessMetro is one of the most accessible public transportation systems in the world. Each Metro station is equipped with an elevator to the train platforms and extra-wide fare gates for wheelchair users. Nearly all of the Metrobuses have wheelchair lifts and kneel at the curb.
Disabled travelers can obtain a Metro Disability ID card that entitles them to discounted fares. (Call 202-962-1558, TTY 02-962-2033 at least 3 weeks in advance). The Metro Disability ID card is valid on Metrobus, Metrorail, MARC train, Virginia Railway Express (VRE), Fairfax Connector, CUE bus, D.C. Circulator, The GEORGE bus, Arlington Transit (ART) and Amtrak. Montgomery County Ride On and Prince George’s County The Bus allows people with disabilities to ride free with a valid ID card. Read more about public transportation in Washington, DC
For people who cannot use public transportation due to a disability, MetroAccess provides a shared-ride, door-to-door, paratransit service from 5:30 a.m. to midnight. Some late night service is available until 3 a.m. on weekends. The MetroAccess customer service number is (301) 562-5360.
The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority publishes accessibility information on its website www.wmata.com. You can also call (202) 962-1245 with questions about Metro services for travelers with disabilities.
Disabled Access to Washington, DC’s Major AttractionsAll Smithsonian museums are wheelchair accessible. Special tours can be pre-arranged for those with disabilities. Visit www.si.edu for details, including downloadable maps that identify accessible entrances, curb cuts, designated parking and more. For questions about disability programs, call (202) 633-2921 or TTY (202) 633-4353.
All of the memorials in Washington, DC are equipped to accommodate visitors with disabilities. Handicap parking spaces are limited in some areas. For more information, call (202) 426-6841.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is wheelchair accessible. To reserve a wheelchair, call (202) 416-8340. A wireless, infrared listening-enhancement system is available in all theaters. Headphones for hearing-impaired patrons are provided at no charge. Some performances offer sign language and audio description. For questions regarding patrons with disabilities, call the Office for Accessibility at (202) 416-8727 or TTY (202) 416-8728.
The National Theatre is wheelchair accessible and features special performances for the visually and hearing-impaired. The theater offers a limited number of half-price tickets to patrons with disabilities. For details, call (202) 628-6161.
Scooters and Wheelchair RentalsScootaround
Scooter and wheelchair rentals available daily, weekly or longer periods of time. Take a tour of DC and the National Mall on a mobility scooter.
Rent a mobility scooter or a manual wheelchair. Daily rates.
Bike the Sites
Electric scooters and manual wheel chairs available. Two-hour, half-day, daily, and multi-day rentals.
Wheelchair Accessible Van Rentals and SalesRide-Away
Accessible Rental Vans
1119 Taft Street
Rockville, MD 20850
1057 First Street
Rockville, MD 20850
Additional Resources for Travelers with DisabilitiesDisabilityguide.org - The website includes accessibility information for attractions, restaurants and bars throughout the region. You may also order a guidebook that you can take with you as you travel around the Washington, DC area.
Medical Transportation Management, Inc. - This company has been contracted by WMATA to provide FREE Travel Training services to any person with disability in the District of Columbia so that they can gain increased independence by using the public transportation system.