Introducing uberWAV: transportation for everyone, everywhere in London
At Uber, our goal is for convenient, safe and affordable transport at the push of a button, everywhere, for everyone.
That ‘everyone’ is important to us. So developed with the support of Scope, Whizz-Kidz, Transport for All and a group of London’s top-rated Uber partners, we’re proud to be launching a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) option.
From 4pm this afternoon, wheelchair users in London will – for the first time – be able to request a wheelchair accessible vehicle through the new uberWAV option on the Uber app.
Bringing affordable, convenient and safe transport options to wheelchair users
For many wheelchair users, travelling easily and affordably around London can be a daily challenge. Just one in four tube stations are wheelchair accessible and buses and trains are sometimes difficult to access. Other accessible options – including taxis and a very small number of private hire vehicles – can be both expensive or unreliable.
Existing accessible private hire vehicles often require booking hours – and sometimes days – in advance and Scope’s 2015 Extra Cost Commission reported research from the Department of Transport showing that almost two thirds of wheelchair users have been unfairly overcharged in a taxi or private hire vehicle.
That’s why we’re proud to be making one of the biggest ever investments in accessible private hire transport in London to introduce uberWAV – giving wheelchair users more choice to travel safely and affordably around their city.
Always costing the same as the equivalent journey on our low-cost uberX product, uberWAV fares will be on average 30% cheaper than a black cab.
“The launch of uberWAV is an important step forward in making convenient, safe and affordable transport available to everyone at the push of a button. This new option will give wheelchair users an additional way of getting from A to B with fares on average 30% cheaper than black cabs. We’re proud to be making one of the biggest ever investments in accessible private hire in London and will be working hard to keep waiting times as low as possible as the service expands.”
Tom Elvidge, General Manager of Uber in London
“We are pleased that Uber is launching a new service for disabled customers. Accessible transport is absolutely vital for many disabled people and can help drive down the extra costs they face. It supports disabled people to do everyday things like get to work, hospital, go shopping or visit family and friends. Disabled people want to have the same choice as all other consumers in London, and have the same options available on method of travel, time and price.”
Lisa Quinlan-Rahman, Director of External Affairs at Scope
“This new initiative will give disabled people in London a much-needed additional option for planning their travel across the capital. Choice, affordability and – most importantly of all – accessibility inform every choice a disabled person has to make when planning travel in the capital. Uber’s new service is a step in the right direction that other providers would be wise to follow.”
Ruth Owen, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz
“It is terrific to see a major organisation like Uber engaging enthusiastically with disabled consumers. There are 11 million disabled people in the UK whose household spending power – the so called ‘purple pound’ – is valued at over £200 billion a year. Disabled people should therefore be a hugely powerful consumer force in the economy. The Extra Costs Commission found that disabled people need to use taxis and private hire vehicles more than other people and often experience extra costs when using them due to overcharging and the lack of accessible vehicles.”
Robin Hindle Fisher, Chair of the Extra Costs Commission
“Transport for All and Inclusion London were delighted to have worked with Uber to develop a disability equality course, designed specifically for Uber partner-drivers and delivered by disabled trainers. The training will mean that partner-drivers will have the knowledge and understanding of how disabled people may want to be assisted when travelling. This is vitally important as good assistance can make all the difference to a journey. We are pleased that Uber is investing in disability equality training and working to use its technology to provide another additional transport option for disabled people in London.”
Faryal Velmi, Director at Transport for All
uberWAV in London
uberWAV can be booked across Greater London and we will be working hard to keep waiting times as low as possible as we expand the service. In the first few weeks we expect average wait times of around 25 mins in zones 1-2 and 40 mins in zones 3-4.
Vehicles are equipped with a rear-entry ramp, winch and restraints, enabling a wheelchair user to ride safely and comfortably with one additional passenger.
Information on how to request
- Download the Uber app and create your account
- Choose the ‘uberWAV’ option on the slider at the bottom of the screen
- Place the pin at your pick up location – make sure it’s somewhere where it will be safe for your driver to stop the car
- Tap the ‘Set pickup location’ bar. You’ll be asked to confirm your want to request a wheelchair accessible car.
- Tap ‘Request uberWAV’
- Once your request is confirmed, your driver is on their way to collect you. You can get in touch at any point by sliding the block with the driver’s details upwards and tapping ‘Contact’
Important things to remember
All vehicles on uberWAV are large enough to comfortably accommodate a rider in a standard reference size wheelchair. If you have a much larger wheelchair, please email email@example.com for further information.
All uberWAV partners are top-rated drivers who have received Disability Equality Training from Transport for All and Inclusion London. As with all partners on the Uber app, drivers are licensed for private hire by Transport for London and have passed an enhanced DBS check – the same as black cab drivers, foster carers and care workers.
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