When you have a disability, are elderly, are pregnant, or have other mobility challenges, it can be difficult to find affordable and reliable transportation. Uber and Lyft are the two largest rideshare companies and they provide transportation and other support to the disabled, seniors, and less mobile. There are rideshare cars specifically for people with service animals, the blind, and pregnant women who need assistance. Rideshare services help people with mobility issues by providing them with a convenient and affordable way to get around. These services can pick up and drop off passengers at their desired location, which makes it easier for people with limited mobility to get where they need to go.
Disability-accessible transportation can be difficult to find for the handicapped or elderly. It can be difficult to navigate a city, even if some municipalities have made an effort to make their streets and public transportation accessible. Rideshare companies can help people with mobility issues, such as wheelchair users, crutches users, or those who are visually impaired.
Most streets are difficult to navigate for people in wheelchairs, buses are not typically accessible for people in wheelchairs late at night, and many public subway stations are not accessible. Lyft and Uber can help handicapped people get around, whether it’s to the store, a doctor’s appointment, or some other obligation.
There is a lack of handicap accessible transportation options available across the United States. Even if an area has subways available, they are often broken or not working correctly. There is a service in some cities called Access-A-Ride that is supposed to help the elderly or handicapped, but it is not reliable.
Some cabs are able to accommodate people with disabilities, but they tend to be more expensive and can be less convenient. It can be hard to strap a wheelchair in place securely, and drivers occasionally take turns too fast, which can cause the wheelchair-bound occupants to fall over inside the car.
The Americans with Disabilities Act has not accomplished much. I’m glad that rideshare services are working to fix these issues.
Disability and elderly services on Uber and Lyft
Uber has UberASSIST and UberWAV for those who are in a wheelchair, elderly, or pregnant. You can order an UberASSIST ride just like you would an UberX or UberPOOL. The main difference is that your driver will be specially trained to assist seniors or riders with disabilities. An UberASSIST ride is the same as an UberX or UberPOOL ride, but with a driver who is specifically trained to help seniors or riders with disabilities. Dozens of cities around the world offer cars with drivers who have been trained to help disabled passengers in and out of vehicles. The driver also needs to know how to store and retrieve wheelchairs and other equipment safely.
UberWAV provides vehicles that are wheelchair accessible, such as a van or something else. The vehicle will have hydraulic lifts so that passengers in wheelchairs can board the vehicle and be fastened in place.
In select markets, Lyft provides an Access mode on its app with wheelchair accessible vehicles for passengers who request them. The Lyft app should have a setting for wheelchair access. You need to select Access when requesting a ride.
If you are blind or have low vision, you can use UberWAV with a screen reading service on your smartphone. The app can also connect to wireless devices that use braille. Lyft is working with the National Federation of the Blind to improve its features.
Both Uber and Lyft are working hard to create services that will help to fill a need in the market. They still have some ways to go before they achieve their goal. The hardest part today is finding an UberWAV car. They are only available in a few dozen cities and can take up to an hour to arrive.
There can also be challenges involving drivers who are not trained to be sensitive to the needs of passengers with disabilities or seniors. Passengers often complain about how drivers want to charge them for boarding and getting off the bus.
There can be other issues that arise when using service animals. Some drivers try to hide them in the trunk. Drivers are not given extra money for the extra work required, so they are often not motivated to do it.
Tips on navigating accessible rideshare services
When a rideshare service does not have any cars available to pick up a disabled person, they will be automatically connected to a local public transportation service that is specifically for disabled people. These types of transportation services can be quite expensive, especially for those who are elderly or have disabilities. You need to be careful when making a reservation to make sure you are getting what you want.
Be sure to know the cost of the model you desire before making a purchase. The Chrysler Town & Country, Ford E 150, and Ford Transit Connect are all examples of models that are typically available. Can I request an UberWAV? The rates for rideshare services that are accessible for people with disabilities vary depending on the city, the number of drivers, and the demand. If you use Uber to connect to a local taxi company, you will pay different prices.
Some wheelchairs are too large to fit in certain spaces. Both Uber and Lyft have a section on their app that offers FAQs with information on size limit restrictions for specific car models.
Rideshare services that are accessible to people with service animals, the handicapped, elderly, or other mobility impaired can help those people get around. However, these services also have some pros and cons. Rideshare programs could quickly turn into something significant for those poorly served by conventional transport options.