The Texas Civil Rights Project and Texas ADAPT are suing the rideshare companies Uber and Lyft to get them to provide wheelchair accessibility. The suits were filed on July 24 in commemoration of the 24th anniversary of the ADA, which was on July 26.
“ADAPT has tried for decades to get Yellow Cab to provide equivalent service with no success,” said David Wittie of ADAPT. “Uber and Lyft are the new kids on the block in terms of transportation companies, but they are socially irresponsible and have disregarded the requirement to make their system accessible and equivalent for people with disabilities.”
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are all the rage in big cities these days as they allow users to quickly and economically arrange and pay for rides through an easy to use smartphone app. But since these companies rely on privately-owned vehicles, many people with disabilities say they are locked out.
Yet, the companies assert ridesharing actually increases access to transportation. “Many disabled individuals, who were previously underserved by existing transportation options, now actively use and rely on Lyft as a reliable, safe and affordable way to get around,” saud Lyft spokesperson Katie Dally.
Cities like Houston are considering whether to enact heavier regulation, including the possibility of mandating access for disabled passengers.