Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft provide convenient transportation solutions for those who need a one-time, direct lift from to a destination. In large cities, rideshare systems offer people with disabilities a valuable mobility opportunity that doesn’t require them to own a modified van. If you’re an Uber or Lyft driver, you will probably receive an occasional request from mobility needs, such as relying on a wheelchair. Here are ways that rideshare companies recommend assisting these customers.
How Lyft and Uber drivers can assist passengers with disabilities in wheelchairs
Uber and Lyft have policies in place that if a wheelchair can be stored in the vehicle without obstructing the driver’s view or being a hazard, the driver should make an attempt to accommodate the passenger. Both companies enforce the The Americans with Disabilities Act when it comes to reasonably attempting to transport passengers with special needs.
When assisting a passenger with mobility needs, Uber and Lyft recommend to
- Get as close to the passenger as possible when parking. They might not be able to reach your car if it’s far away or surrounded by traffic.
- Ask the rider if there’s anything you can do to help. If they accept, wait for them to instruct you on what to do.
- Ask for permission to handle their wheelchair once they’re out of it. If you aren’t sure how to collapse it, ask for directions.
- Carefully handle and store the wheelchair in you car’s trunk or cargo area, not in the cabin next to the passenger.
- Account for extra time loading and unloading your passenger.
- Speak respectfully, be patient, and ask simple yes/no questions.
- If the wheelchair does not fit in your car, you can cancel the ride and notify the company so a replacement vehicle can be sent.
- If you need additional training on interacting with passengers with special needs, obtain additional training from independent organizations (UberASSIST offers this).
As a passenger, make sure you select the requirement that you need wheelchair accessibility when you’re booking your ride, if it’s an option on the app. Book the ride ahead of time to give the vehicle and yourself enough time to meet and load/unload. Also, choose a pick-up spot that’s away from traffic so you are safe to do so.