Uber Supports Accessible Transportation in the DMV

We know that riders with disabilities face a variety of problems hailing taxicabs in the District, including discrimination from drivers who refuse to stop for individuals with disabilities. While these problems are not unique to Washington, there is more that can be done and Uber is proud to be part of the solution.

In October we initiated two significant partnerships:

    • We partnered with HASCO Medical, one of the largest and most trusted dealers of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAV) in the DMV to offer significant discounts and preferred financing rates to those interested in partnering with Uber.
    • We also teamed up with Open Doors Organization, a non-profit that works to create a society in which persons with disabilities have equal consumer choices and opportunities, to educate drivers on how to best assist riders with disabilities.

The fact is, in the relatively short time that Uber has operated in the District, Uber’s service has had a significant impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities who rely on for-hire transportation.

Despite our efforts, we face one very significant roadblock in the District: the lack of wheelchair accessible for-hire vehicles. Uber’s ability to connect individuals with drivers who operate accessible vehicles is dependent on the number of WAV vehicles available. Currently, there are approximately 20 wheelchair accessible taxis in the District, but thanks to the For-Hire Vehicle Accessibility Amendment Act of 2014 and other legislative efforts, that number could dramatically increase.

Uber has been, and will continue to be, an ardent supporter of expanding accessible options within the District. We openly support many of the initiatives outlined in Councilmember Mary Cheh’s For-Hire Vehicle Accessibility Amendment Act of 2014, and over the past several months, have worked constructively with advocates within the accessibility community – including the United Spinal Association – and Councilmember Cheh’s office to improve accessible services in the region.

We are committed to continuing to work hand in hand with advocates and the Council on this very important issue.

Sincerely,

Zuhairah Washington

General Manager, Uber DC