Amid Uber’s rapid unregulated expansion, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and nine other urban mayors have wisely chosen to develop a global rulebook to confront economic and social challenges of the sharing economy. This new coalition has a prime opportunity to finally end Uber’s discrimination against wheelchair users in New York and across the world.
Uber is an example of how the sharing economy has not yet evolved to adequately serve the disability community. While the $60 billion company has just begun to offer accessible vehicles in London, wheelchair users in hundreds of other cities are denied service every day. Twenty-six years after the Americans with Disabilities Act became federal law, Uber’s policies are a sad throwback to a time when those civil rights were simply ignored.
Uber has operated in New York City since 2011 and now has more than 30,000 vehicles on the road, but none are wheelchair-accessible. Even as the city’s taxi industry continues to advance toward 50 percent accessibility by 2020, city officials have not held Uber and other ridesharing apps to the same moral standard. And when the company tried – and failed – to expand statewide, it refused to include accessibility in its so-called commitment to upstate residents.
Uber has avoided discussions of an accessibility mandate at all costs – including more than $1 million spent on lobbying New York officials over the past year and a half. Part of the problem is UberWAV, which, the company claims, is a fair substitute for making its own cars accessible. In reality, it is an offensive response that treats the disability community with the same “separate but equal” attitude that once plagued America’s attitude toward race.
Instead of providing wheelchair users with accessible Uber cars, UberWAV merely attempts to connect them with accessible yellow or green taxis – the same taxis the company is trying to put out of business. The only real benefit of UberWAV is for Uber itself, which rakes in higher corporate profits by leaving the full cost of accessibility to the taxi industry.
Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: NY Slant
Are online-only businesses like Uber and Airbnb covered by Title III of the ADA, and what would coverage mean when the businesses don’t own or operate the vehicles or accommodations that customers use?
Title III of the ADA only applies to owners, operators, lessors, and lessees of “place[s] of public accommodations.” Businesses such as Uber and Airbnb do not fit neatly fit into this definition because, as web-only businesses, they are not actual “places” of public accommodation. Moreover, they don’t own, operate, or the goods or services – the vehicles or accommodations – used by the end customer.
Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Mobile Apps Like Uber and Airbnb Raise Novel ADA Title III Issues | ADA Title III News & Insights
According to a recent report, the number of wheelchair-accessible vehicles for hire in San Francisco fell significantly in the past few years — all while services like Uber and Lyft were rapidly expanding in the area.
“This is more urgent than people realize,” Carol Tyson, policy director for the United Spinal Association, told The Huffington Post.
Tyson, the author of a MobilityLab.org post about this issue, sits on the Disability Advisory Committee for the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission. That group’s report, published in October, said that San Francisco’s wheelchair-friendly cabs dropped from 100 in 2013 to just 64 in 2015.
While Uber has introduced limited offerings for passengers with disabilities in some cities, it and other on-demand car services don’t currently operate under the same accessibility rules that cab companies do. There’s no mandate for Uber, Lyft or similar startups to include wheelchair-ready cars in their fleets. What’s more, the potential for on-demand startups to drive taxi companies into bankruptcy is no longer theoretical: More than 1 million Uber drivers now handle 2 million rides every day around the world.
Curated by Lifekludger read full article at Source: If Uber Kills Cabs, Cities Must Ensure Accessible Vehicles Live
JAMES Davies says he risks his safety every time he books a taxi to leave the house.
The 25-year-old Mt Claremont resident was born premature at 26 weeks with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, uses an electric wheelchair and requires around-the-clock care.
Mr Davies, a disability client services officer, relies on wheelchair-accessible maxi-taxis for independent transport, which he said were unreliable and often unsafe.
“I can’t just call and count on a well-trained driver showing up at my door,” he said.
Curated by (Lifekludger)
Read full article at Source: Disabled feel unsafe riding in Perth taxis, call for Uber’s wheelchair accessibility option | Community Newspaper Group