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Thread: Uber, Lyft and Wheelchair Taxis

  1. #11
    They are trying to launch UberAccess which will assist passengers with folding walkers and wheelchairs. The driver does not manually assist the passenger with transfers into the vehicle.

    A woman in Austin, TX is suing Lyft for not providing a vehicle that could accommodate her non-folding chair.

    https://cases.justia.com/federal/dis...12512/13/0.pdf

    http://fortune.com/2015/05/22/uber-lyft-disabled/

  2. #12
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2drwhofans View Post
    A woman in Austin, TX is suing Lyft for not providing a vehicle that could accommodate her non-folding chair.
    I dunno, suing a ride matching service for not having an independent contractor with a wheelchair mobile seems quite a stretch. Why not sue the individual moonlighting his or her car as a taxi for not owning the right kind of vehicle while they are at it? Heck, sue people with wheelchair accessible vehicles for not giving rides to those without. Better yet, sue everyone in sight.

  3. #13
    I agree with Andy. As a community we need to take a step back and ask what is fair and reasonable. I am a t-10 and have successfully used Uber for 2 years . . it's a great concept and a great service. I have talked with Uber officials about the disability issue and I believe they want to serve our community and are open to ideas. How about we work with them instead of filing lawsuits.

  4. #14
    For us, Uber limits our travel options. Rigid chair. No motor function in either leg. Unable to transfer without assistance. When ramp van taxi drivers are out driving their own vehicles for Uber, our potential ride sits idle. Only NY and San Francisco have ramp taxis available on the Uber app. I've spoken to them about disability issues as well. They know very well what they're doing and continue to hide behind "we're just a platform for connecting drivers to passengers". The person driving his own car to make extra money is not their employee. Uber is valued at 40 bn. I say sue away before all the wheelchair transport vehicles in major cities are gone.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by hugheswf View Post
    I am a t-10 para and I can only comment as a Uber customer . . . they are fantastic. It's a great service for business travelers and frankly cab services should simply embrace the technology that Uber does (mainly the internet and geo locators). I would be curious to hear what type of accomodations taxi cabs are required to provide - - certainly not every single cab in america is accessible but are their requirements that some % of the fleet has to be wheelchair friendly? I would support making any existing laws applicable to Uber but nothing more.
    I just wanna point out one positive issue with Uber. I'm also a para, so it's different for those who require wheelchair vans. I've had at least two cabs drive off in a hurry to avoid taking me as a passenger once they saw the chair. I'm assuming because they think (correctly to a degree) that I'm going to take extra time to get in their cab and cost them money. One good thing about Uber is they can't do this. If you hit the button and they drive all the way over to pick you up, they've essentially committed to get you somewhere, so the Uber drivers I've used have all been quite accommodating.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2drwhofans View Post
    For us, Uber limits our travel options..... When ramp van taxi drivers are out driving their own vehicles for Uber, our potential ride sits idle... They know very well what they're doing and continue to hide behind "we're just a platform for connecting drivers to passengers"... Uber is valued at 40 bn. I say sue away before all the wheelchair transport vehicles in major cities are gone.
    That is a rather curious stretch of logic. Using Chicago as an example of a city with a significant wheelchair taxi inventory...pretty much all wheelchair accessible vehicles be they either MPV or dropped floor minivans, are owned by the taxi companies, and are leased on a daily or weekly basis to drivers. It would be amazingly dumb for a driver to pay the significant lease fee, then park the vehicle to drive their own personal vehicle for a ride matching service. It is quite a distortion to lay blame on the ride matching services using this logic of them "hiding behind a software platform", as it simply is not true. But hey, they are valued at $40 billion, someone with deep pockets gotta pay even if they are not responsible, right?

  7. #17
    Re: "It would be amazingly dumb for a driver to pay the significant lease fee, then park the vehicle to drive their own personal vehicle for a ride matching service."
    You're missing the point. As Uber recruits more independent drivers using their own vehicles, less drivers are paying to lease taxis. The unused Taxi's, especially the ones with ramp access, sit idle unless they are contracted by the state to transport Medicaid and Dialysis patients.

    You're fortunate to live in a city with a fleet of WAV. Most of us don't though.

    I hope you realize that your dependable transportation access would not be available if it wasn't for prior activism and court cases.

    The Dr. Strangelove avatar is awesome BTW

  8. #18
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    You think there is a shortage of taxi drivers? I am not arguing the prior activism and court cases, just this particular case of litigation on something so blatantly unrelated to the claimed injustice.

    As an aside, I notice some counties in WI actually run their own fleets of lowered floor minivans as taxis judging by some of the stuff that turns up in municipal auctions over there. Maybe this could be expanded to other areas where justification of a private taxi operating company regulated to have X% of accessible vehicles as part of the fleet is not feasible due to population/market size.

  9. #19
    Re: "You think there is a shortage of taxi drivers?"

    Well, your Chicago taxi drivers sure aren't happy:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...-lyft-services

    And they're getting pushed out in San Francisco:

    http://time.com/money/3397919/uber-taxis-san-francisco/

    "In addition to cutting drivers’ revenues, Toran also suggested that people who use wheelchairs could be hurt by the shift to app-based services. Her report shows wheelchair pickups have dropped from 1,378 per month in March of 2013 to 768 in July—a decrease of over 50%.

    “The ramp taxi program is just a vulnerable program in the taxi program overall because it costs more to operate, maintain and it costs more in gas for the drivers,” said Toran. “It takes more time to do wheelchair securement, so it’s kind of the first to go.” According to the Examiner, transportation network companies, unlike city cabs, are not required to be wheelchair accessible.

    San Francisco isn’t the only place Uber is cutting into the traditional taxi business. Cab drivers from Chicago to Berlin have protested against Uber’s entrance, claiming in many cases that ridesharing companies are competing unfairly because they are not subject to the same regulations as official taxis."


    I'll see if they're at the Abilities Expo next week.
    Last edited by 2drwhofans; 07-21-2015 at 09:17 PM.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2drwhofans View Post
    Re: "You think there is a shortage of taxi drivers?"

    Well, your Chicago taxi drivers sure aren't happy:
    I'm sure they aren't, they are used to having to incur extremely hefty costs (government generated) to legally operate a marked taxi to pick up passengers, and now the ride matching services make technology bypass that racket and lower the cost of taxi operation without the government meddling. And they are left behind with these 'legacy' costs still saddled on them. Last I checked Chicago medallions to legally operate a taxi were in the 6 figures. Hey, I checked again and it seems that things are changing:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2...hare/27314735/

    I found it interesting that in Philly, the government there felt that $475,000 was an acceptable entry price to service the wheelchair community's needs, now it is down to $80,000 to get 'licensed' (i.e., not get dragged into the government's court for not paying the government's extortion of one's livelihood). Maybe someone should sue Philadelphia for effectively blocking sufficient handicapped transportation due to their greed? Oh wait, that was Uber and Lyft "being greedy", lol.

    From the article:


    Earlier this month, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates the city's taxi industry, had sold newly-created medallions for wheel-chair accessible taxis for $80,000 each. The bargain price came after the authority put the medallions on the market last fall, with an initial asking price of $475,000, but received no bids.

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