Uber Launches Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles

Posted: May 10 2016, 7:36am CDT | by , in News | Latest Business News


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Uber Launches Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Uber has been making quite a few changes to the way it provides services to users - probably because it is facing stiff criticism from services like Lyft. The newest option gives those who are in a wheelchair more freedom to come and go. The newer option is called UberWav and will be available "at the push of a button" according to the company.

They will cost the same as other UberX fares.

Accessibility charities were involved with planning the logistics, costs, insurances, and development of the new service.

The vehicles will have a rear-entry ramp as well winch and restraints, all of which will allow wheelchair users to travel safely. The cars will have room for at least one additional passenger.

According to BBC, the company will initially have 55 vehicles, but that will expand as needed to at least 100 "in the coming months." Hopefully there will be more as well. He added Uber expected wait times of "around 25 minutes" in Zones 1-2 and "40 minutes" in Zones 3-4 during the first few weeks.

"We're proud to be making one of the biggest ever investments in accessible private hire in London and will be working hard to keep waiting times as low as possible as the service expands," said Tom Elvidge, Uber's general manager in London.

This is a direct result to the opposition from black cabs, many of which are wheelchair accessible. It also answers some of the deepest criticism that Uber has - that it wasn't accessible for everyone. Just recently a court case in California accused them of turning away riders who needed service dogs with them.

"This new initiative will give disabled people in London a much-needed additional option for planning their travel across the capital," she added.

London is the only place where the UberWav has been made available, but the hope is that it will change soon as well.

"London [black] cabs have always been easier to access because of their big doors and the space where seats flap up at the back," said Prof Tony Travers, at the London School of Economics.

"I think Uber in London were under more pressure because their main competitors had an advantage," he told the BBC.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.




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