Uber Technologies Inc was sued last Tuesday by disability rights groups and wheelchair users accusing the ride-sharing company of violating New York City human rights laws by failing to make enough of its vehicles accessible to disabled people.
The proposed class-action complaint said Uber engaged in “pervasive and ongoing discrimination” because people in wheelchairs can use only a few dozen of its more than 58,000 vehicles in the city. Given Uber’s growing popularity, this “substantially undermines” the benefits of New York City’s commitment to make half its yellow taxis wheelchair-accessible by 2020, according to the complaint filed in the state Supreme Court in Manhattan.
“I want to be treated like everybody else,” Valerie Joseph, 41, a Queens Village, New York resident born with spina bifida with hydrocephalus and one of the plaintiffs, said in an interview. “We are normal people, and we have lives.” In a statement, Uber said its technology “has expanded access to reliable transportation” for people with disabilities, and that it “will continue advocating for a solution that offers affordable, reliable transportation to those who need a wheelchair accessible vehicle.”
The complaint said Uber provides wheelchair-accessible rides through its UberWAV service, but fewer than 100 vehicles in its city fleet offer it. It seeks to require Uber to provide “full and equal access” for people who need accessible transportation.
- New court case against Uber. Uber doesn’t seem to care about people with mobility handicaps.