In this last post in our recent blog series on smart ridesharing regulations in Edmonton, we’d like to wrap things up by speaking to the importance of accessible transportation. With over one million trips per day across the world, Uber driver-partners provide service to all types of riders, including those with disabilities.

Commitment to Accessibility

We’re proud that ridesharing helps expand access to safe, reliable transportation options and we think all ridesharing companies should be committed to continuing to build solutions that improve people’s ability to easily move around their communities. From a regulatory standpoint, we believe cities and ridesharing services should work together to expand accessible transportation.

In Uber’s case, we’re dedicated to increasing the mobility, efficiency and freedom for riders and drivers with accessibility needs. With VoiceOver iOS compatibility, the Uber app provides a safe and reliable transportation option for the visually impaired. The app includes additional features for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Through text prompts and visual features, audio is not needed to ride or drive on the Uber platform. In a number of markets, UberACCESS offers access to wheelchair-accessible vehicles through partnerships with fleet owners that have access to these vehicles.

Regulating Access

When regulating for accessibility issues, it’s important to remember that ridesharing companies do not own any cars themselves and that driver-partners use their personal cars for ridesharing. Many people with accessibility challenges can be accommodated in personal vehicles; however some require wheelchair-accessible vehicles. As few people personally own wheelchair-accessible vehicles, the supply can be limited. To address this, ridesharing services support the creation of accessible vehicle funds that can be used to increase the supply of wheelchair-accessible vehicles. This approach encourages more accessible options through ridesharing beyond what is already mandated in the market.

Smart Ridesharing Regulations in Edmonton

Ridesharing provides exciting transportation opportunities to better serve drivers and riders. Regulatory frameworks should allow for continued innovation by targeting positive public policy outcomes, not prescribing business practices.

Over 50 cities and states across the United States and most recently the Philippines, have adopted new regulations specifically for ridesharing. We hope that as the City of Edmonton adopts its own ridesharing framework, there will be a productive dialogue that leads to more efficient transportation options that are safe, reliable and accessible.