Under threat of a lawsuit from disability advocates, the ride-sharing company Uber is unveiling a new limited service to provide transportation options for wheelchair users living in over 200 cities around the world.
Uber announced through its blog that it is establishing a partnership with the Chicago-based Open Door Organization to provide its UberASSIST service, where trained drivers would provide assistance to riders who use foldable wheelchairs. The company also plans to offer another service called UberACCESS, which will provide a wheelchair-accessible vehicle to those who need one.
But advocate David Wittie, an organizer with Texas ADAPT and participant on a transportation task force along with representatives of Uber, has two concerns with Uber’s plans. First, there are not currently enough qualified drivers with lift-equipped vans to handle the demand. “The Uber people are planning on doing this portion of their business around the good graces and generosity of a very small part of the