Will Uber Ever Be More Accessible for People with Disabilities?

Photo of man in wheelchair

By now, we’ve all heard of Uber. It is the ride hailing app that can summon a driver to your doorstep to take you wherever you need to go. It is a revolutionary transportation advancement that is allowing more people to be mobile than ever before… That is unless you are a person with disabilities.

Why Can’t Uber Become More Accessible for People with Disabilities?

Uber’s history of limited access for people with disabilities is unfortunately pretty long. In California, the company was sued for denying access and even abusing service animals and their masters. In Chicago, the company was accused of not meeting the city’s requirement that all transport companies must maintain a number of wheelchair accessible vehicles greater than or equal to 5 percent of that company’s fleet. Several other conflicts have given the company a black eye when it comes to disability rights, and the latest case isn’t helping the company.

A class action lawsuit in New York City is accusing the company of discriminating against people with disabilities. It claims that there are less than 100 wheelchair-accessible vehicles in Uber’s 58,000 driver-for-hire fleet. This has left New York riders with disabilities waiting on rides that sometimes never show up.

Uber claims that it has 200 wheelchair-accessible vehicles in New York, and available through uberWAV. The company also stated that it offered incentives for accessible vehicle drivers by providing $10 for each completed trip and $500 for completing 40 trips in the driver’s first week. It even claims to be charging an “accessibility fee” of 5 cents for its luxury vehicle service, which would fund more incentives.

However, Uber’s words are doing little to calm members of the disability community. The lawsuit is asking the court to require Uber to make a remedial plan that would ensure full and equal access to people with disabilities.

Brought to you by the Tulsa disability attorneys at Troutman & Troutman—keeping you informed about the issues that could affect Oklahomans with disabilities.

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