Uber Sued Over Lack of Wheelchair-Accessible Cars in NYC

Paterniano Del Favero
Luglio 19, 2017

The suit was filed in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan on behalf of Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled, the Taxis for All Campaign, Disabled in Action of Metropolitan New York and individuals who use wheelchairs. In a complaint also posted to DRA's web site, the plaintiffs wrote "Uber has demonstrated a total disregard for the needs of people with disabilities in the provision of its transportation services and the anti-discrimination laws of New York City".

The complaint says of the 58,000 vehicles Uber operates in the five NYC boroughs, fewer than 100 offer limps or ramps-making the company 99.9 percent inaccessible to those in wheelchairs.

"Passengers attempting to use Uber's accessible service face extended wait times, or are still denied access to the service altogether, demonstrating that the new service is nothing more than window-dressing, created to avoid government regulation and legal requirements", the complaint alleges. The company said it now has almost 200 WAV (wheelchair access vehicles) in New York City. Launched in 2014, UberWAV as well as UberASSIST was geared towards people with disabilities where a wheelchair accessible auto would pick them up.

According to the complaint, Uber offers wheelchair accessible rides through its UberWAV service but fewer than 100 vehicles fail to provide it. Or they could forgo activities that require travel altogether "which can lead to isolation and seclusion".

The case argues Uber could significantly improve mobility for those with disabilities, since 80 percent of subway stations are inaccessible to those who can't use stairs and busses can be slow and don't reach all neighborhoods.

It's seeking class-action status, and wants Uber to implement a plan "to ensure full and equal access to its services for riders who require accessible transportation".

"Uber's technology has expanded access to reliable transportation options for all riders, including those with disabilities and has enabled people with disabilities to earn income in new ways", Uber spokesperson Danielle Filson said in a statement to Jalopnik.

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