Lawsuit: Disability Rights Group Claims Uber Violates U.S. Wheelchair Accessibility Laws

A Chicago disability rights group is suing Uber in federal court, claiming that the transportation company doesn’t provide reliable access to vehicles equipped to handle wheelchairs, in violation of U.S. laws.

Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago filed the lawsuit on Thursday, calling the ride-hailing company’s UberWAV service, which is supposed to dispatch wheelchair-accessible vehicles, “unusable” for folks in motorized wheelchairs, reports DNAinfo.

There just aren’t enough of the vehicles to serve riders in Chicago, the lawsuit claims, with customers saying the cars are often not available. For example: one resident who uses a wheelchair says that even if he’s lucky enough to find one of the WAV vehicles, he’d have to wait for it to cross the city to reach him.

“No one would use Uber if the entire service worked this way,” he says.

To that end, the suit says, between Sept. 2011 and Aug. 2015, Uber provided just 14 rides to customers who require special vehicles. That’s out of a total 1.9 million rides in Chicago since June 2015, the complaint alleges.

“Transportation access has always been a central issue of civil rights for people with disabilities,” Steven P. Blonder, lawyer for Access Living, said in a statement via DNAInfo. “As a growing player in our transportation system, Uber is responsible for delivering its part of that link.”

An Uber spokeswoman told Consumerist in an emailed statement that “We take this issue seriously and are committed to increasing mobility and freedom for all riders and drivers, including those members of our communities who are disabled. There is always more to be done and we will continue working hard to expand access to affordable, reliable transportation options for all Chicagoans.”

Uber Sued By Chicago Group Claiming Lack Of Wheelchair Accessibility [DNAinfo]

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