Remember when Uber was the bad guy of all the ride-hail apps and the hot thing on social media was urging riders to choose Lyft instead? Lyft was the hero riding (er, driving) to the rescue of passengers who wanted clean consciences.
Well, our Samantha Maldonado reports that Lyft, which has been billing itself as the better-behaved Uber, is arguing in a federal class action lawsuit filed in Westchester that it shouldn’t be subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act on the grounds that “it is not in the transportation business.”
Transit experts think that’s total nonsense.
Former New York City Taxi Commissioner Meera Joshi told POLITICO that the company’s public filings claim “their mission is to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation.”
“Or maybe it should be improving some people’s lives because throughout the country most passengers that use a wheelchair still can’t get a Lyft,” Joshi said.
Is this just a one-off in an otherwise spotless record of dealing with transportation accessibility for the disabled? Nah.
Lyft is facing another class-action lawsuit in the Bay Area alleging the company discriminates against people with disabilities. Lyft spokesperson Campbell Matthews wouldn’t comment on the Westchester litigation, but did have a very unusual definition of “accessibility” in an emailed statement she shared with POLITICO.
“We think about accessibility broadly and know that many who were previously underserved by transit and taxis are now able to rely on Lyft for convenient and affordable rides,” Matthews said.