Ride-hail still lags on accessibility

Lyft.
Lyft.
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Lyft.

Ride-hail still lags on accessibility

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest suggests various app-based ride-hail companies operating in New York aren’t doing much to make things accessible.
May 17, 2019

New York City is not an easy place to navigate in a wheelchair. Between hard-to-reach subway stations and an Access-A-Ride program plagued by problems, the city can hardly be called accessible. Now, a new report from New York Lawyers for the Public Interest suggests that the various app-based ride-hail companies operating in New York aren’t doing much to combat this lack of accessibility.

New York City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission has rules for these for-hire vehicle companies, namely that they either dispatch a minimum percentage of trips with wheelchair-accessible vehicles or respond to at least 60% of rider requests for accessible vehicles within 15 minutes. For-hire vehicle companies can also partner with qualified accessible-vehicle dispatchers to meet that requirement. But despite all this, NYLPI’s report shows that Uber, Lyft and Juno provide far less reliable service for disabled riders than for able-bodied riders.

Lyft is also facing a class-action suit in White Plains, New York, claiming that the company discriminates against disabled people. In response, Lyft has argued that it isn’t subject to requirements for transportation companies in the Americans with Disabilities Act because it is not a transportation company, but an app company.

For the rest of today's tech news, head over to First Read Tech.

Annie McDonough
is a tech and policy reporter at City & State.
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