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UberASSIST and UberACCESS

As I’m sure you recall, access for the disabled was a major point of debate in the vehicles for hire saga. There was a lawsuit filed by a coalition of Texas disability advocates against Uber and Lyft over their lack of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. I have wondered more than once how these companies, which rely on drivers using their personal vehicles, will meet the requirements set out by Council. Well, that’s still a question to ponder, but here’s Uber’s plan for that.

Uber

Uber is evolving the way people move throughout Houston and over 200 other cities around the world. But, until now, transportation options have been limited for those who may require additional assistance.

Today, Uber Houston is announcing a new platform that will allow those needing an extra hand to request safe and reliable rides at the tap of a button.

We’ve partnered with Open Doors Organization, a non-profit organization that works to create a society in which persons of disability have the same consumer opportunities as everyone else. With Open Doors Organization, we are launching UberASSIST. We’ve trained uberX partners on the necessary knowledge and safety requirements for those with accessibility needs.

In just a few weeks we’ll be rolling out UberACCESS. With UberACCESS, we are growing our wheelchair accessible vehicle supply, transforming disabled transit and allowing on demand pickups within minutes instead of days.

They have instructions for how to request UberASSIST at the link above. It sounds promising, but we’ll see how it works in practice. Lyft still has to come up with something as well. Link via The Highwayman.

Elswhere in Uber and Lyft news, the debate is on in Dallas, and will be on again shortly in San Antonio. Have I mentioned lately that I’m glad we finally put this behind us here in Houston? The Leader News had an overview of using Uber, with some price points and quotes from Uber drivers. Finally, if you haven’t read this Offcite piece on how Uber/Lyft and eventually driverless cars will affect walkability in Houston and elsewhere, you should.

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One Comment

  1. N.M. Horwitz says:

    “UberAssist” sounds completely useless. If I were running an illegal cab out of my VW, I could accommodate a folding wheelchair. Having driven my grandmother, I know that I can accommodate a walker.

    UberAccess is what I’m more interested in. Accessibility for mechanized wheelchairs is a pretty pricey and non-profitable proposition; I’m curious how Uber approaches it. The ambiguous “coming soon” promise definitely doesn’t have me holding my breath, though.