During my time in Salt Lake City, I was not able to find a true metered taxi with a wheelchair ramp. Yellow Cab doesn’t have adapted vans and the only other option appeared to be non-emergency medical transportation, which can be extremely costly. After my trip, I did some additional research, contacted some Wheelchair Travel readers in the Salt Lake City area, and discovered that there is a wheelchair taxi service. I’ve described that and a number of other options for wheelchair accessible transportation in Salt Lake City below.
Wheelchair Taxis from the Ute Cab Company
The Ute Cab Company operates a small fleet of rear-entry wheelchair taxi vans that are in high demand. These taxis are typically only available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Reservations need to be made well in advance, because the drivers primarily serve local residents traveling to medical appointments or running errands.
I was informed that there is a minimum fare of $15, $18 or $20 depending on where you are being picked up. For longer trips, the cabs apparently run on the city’s approved meter rate of approximately $2.20 per mile. The cab company does not have a website, but can be reached via telephone at +1 (801) 359-7788. Note that, without an advance reservation, it is extremely unlikely that you will be able to receive service.
Wheelchair accessible airport shuttle
Express Shuttle Utah provides shared ride shuttle service between Salt Lake City Airport and area hotels for as little as $13 per person. Although the company does not have wheelchair accessible vans of their own, the ADA requires that they provide an equivalent service to disabled people.
If you make a booking through the Express Shuttle Utah website and notify them of your need for a wheelchair accessible vehicle, they will hire a ride for you from a non-emergency medical transportation provider. You’ll pay only the cost of the shared ride shuttle and get a private, wheelchair accessible ride. I tried this myself, and was sent a lift-equipped van from Unity Transportation (described below). The $13 ride between the airport and downtown hotels can’t be beat!
Wheelchair accessible van service from Unity Executive Transportation
Unity Executive Transportation provides private sedan and limousine service throughout the Salt Lake City area, but it also has a number of vehicles with wheelchair lifts. I rode in one of their small lift-equipped vans during my visit to the city. The vehicles are small and it is a tight fit with a power wheelchair, but my Permobil F3 did fit into the van.
The company charges the following rates for wheelchair accessible transportation:
- Airport to Downtown Transfer — $75
- Hourly service (3 hours minimum) — $55 per hour
Although the costs are high, Unity Transportation can provide service day or night and oftentimes at the time you decide. If you are booking an airport transfer, remember that you can save a significant sum of money by purchasing your ride through Express Shuttle Utah.
For more information, visit the Unity Transportation website or call +1 (385) 535-3301.
More transportation options are needed
Uber and Lyft operate in Salt Lake City, but they do not serve wheelchair users.
Yellow Cab Utah operates in Salt Lake City, but they do not serve wheelchair users.
The present reality is unacceptable and should be addressed by the city’s elected leaders. Without equal access to transportation and on-demand wheelchair taxis, Salt Lake City’s disabled residents cannot realize their full potential — nevermind the difficulty it places on disabled visitors!