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Accessible rideshare vehicle on Uber or Lyft.

Uber and Lyft both offer handicap accessible cars, vans, and vehicles to people with a disability. There are services that provide a wheelchair accessible van, rides for the blind or visually impaired as well as rideshares for the elderly or disabled who have difficult getting in and out of a ca. Learn about the wheelchair and disabled accessible Uber and Lyft services below.

When you live with a disability, are elderly, pregnancy or have other mobility challenges, finding affordable yet reliable transportation can be a huge challenge.  Uber and Lyft, the two largest rideshare companies, provide wheelchair accessible transportation and other support to the disabled, seniors, blind, and less mobile. There are even Lyft and Uber cars for people with service animals, the blind as well as pregnant women that need help with a car.

Disability-handicapped accessible transportation, whether private or government backed, can be a struggle to find for the handicapped or elderly. Even in a city, in which many more “dense” municipalities try harder make their streets and public transportation accessible, it can be daunting finding your way around. People with a mobility issue, whether wheelchair, crutches, that are visually impaired or something else, can find help from Rideshare companies.

Most streets have no curb ramps, wheelchair-accessible buses don't run late at night in most towns or cities, and a large percentage of public subway stations are not accessible. Lyft and Uber can be used by the handicap to get around, whether to the store, a doctor appointment, or some other obligation.

Handicap accessible transportation is lacking across the nation, but Uber and Lyft offer assistance to try to ensure the disabled or seniors will get a free or cheap ride. Even if area that say use subways, the ones that are available often suffer from broken elevators or escalators. While an Access-A-Ride service does exist for the elderly or handicapped in some cities it is unreliable. However find even other places for free rides near you.




Indeed, some cabs are disability-accessible, but they are expensive and often inconvenient. It can be hard to strap a wheelchair in place securely, and drivers occasionally take turns too fast, sending wheelchair-bound occupants tumbling about the car.

It would appear that the Americans with Disabilities Act hasn't achieved a great deal. Thankfully, rideshare services are trying to address these problems while providing people a way to make money from their car. Learn more on ways to earn money driving your car.

Disability and elderly services on Uber and Lyft

If you use a wheelchair or are elderly or even pregnant, Uber has UberASSIST and UberWAV for those who are mobility-challenged. UberASSIST is the more basic of these services. Available in dozens cities across the world, it offers cars with drivers who have training in helping disabled passengers in and out of vehicles. The driver also has to be trained on how to carefully stow away and retrieving wheelchairs and other necessary equipment.

UberWAV provides special wheelchair-accessible vehicles, such as a van or something else. The vehicle will have to have hydraulic lifts which passengers can board while still in their wheelchairs and have them fastened in place.

Lyft offers an Access mode on its app in specific markets, with wheelchair accessible vehicles provided to passengers who request them. The Lyft app setting need to have the Wheelchair access mode setting. Then Access needs to be selected when requesting a ride.

If you are sight-challenged: UberWAV can work with smartphone screen reading services. The app also has a braille function that can communicate with wireless devices. Lyft has several features planned, as it works with the National Federation of the Blind.





While Uber and Lyft are trying to build services that fill a market need, they have some way to go before they succeed in their aim. The hardest part today involves finding a vehicle -- UberWAV has only some cars in the several dozen cities that the service is available in; vehicles can take as long as an hour to arrive.

There can also be challenges involving drivers who not adequately trained in the sensitivity needed to help passengers with disabilities or senior citizens. For instance, passengers who use these services often complain about how drivers, when it comes to assisting passengers to board and get off, want to do it with the meter running.

Other problems can come up with service animals. Drivers sometimes attempt to stow them away in the trunk. Drivers do not get paid extra for the additional work needed, and therefore, tend to be disengaged.

Tips on navigating accessible rideshare services

Make sure you know what type of car, van, or transportation you're getting: When rideshare services don't have any vehicles to offer to a disabled passenger, they will automatically connect them to a local paratransit service (Uber calls them “Uber WAV” in some markets). These elderly or disability accessible transportation services for the can cost a great deal more than rideshare services, however. You need to remain alert to see what you're getting as you make a reservation.

Make sure you know what it costs: Models such as the Chrysler Town & Country, Ford E 150, and Ford Transit Connect usually are available. Requesting an UberWAV in most cities costs as much as an Uber XL. These handicapped accessible rideshare rates change, depending on the city, number of drivers and demand. If Uber connects you to a local taxi company, however, you pay different prices

There are size restrictions: If you use a large motorized wheelchair, you may find that space is a problem in some cases. Both Uber and Lyft have a FAQs section on its app that offers information on size limit restrictions on specific car models. While they try to accommodate all sizes and needs with their accessible rideshare programs, it is always not possible.




Accessible rideshare services have some pros and cons, but they can help people with service animals, the handicapped, elderly, or other mobility impaired get around. These rideshare programs could quickly turn into something significant for those poorly served by conventional transport options.


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By Jon McNamara











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