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Forward-facing, forward thinking: introducing uberACCESS

March 23, 2017 / United Kingdom
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 When you have somewhere you need to be, you should be able to get there easily, safely and affordably. But for wheelchair users, getting from A to B can often be a daily challenge. At Uber we believe everyone should be able to travel everywhere. So last year we introduced uberWAV in London – our service designed for wheelchair users. Since May 2016 we’ve helped thousands of riders travel across the capital on their terms, dropped our wait times and increased vehicle numbers.

A new name and more cities

From today uberWAV will now be known as uberACCESS – because we believe that the city should be always be accessible for all. We’re also bringing uberACCESS to two new cities. From Thursday March 23rd, wheelchair users in Birmingham and Manchester will be able to book a wheelchair accessible vehicle at the touch of a button.

What makes uberACCESS different?

Safety

Our vehicles are rear-entry, which means that riders face forward when they’re travelling, unlike other vehicles which require riders to face sideways or backwards.. All uberACCESS vehicles have four point tie-down straps, which are used to secure the wheelchair to the floor to ensure it stays put during the trip. uberACCESS drivers are top-rated partners who have received Disability Equality Training from Transport for All to ensure that riders feel safe and comfortable for their entire journey.

Affordability

With uberACCESS you pay the exact same as you would if you were travelling with UberX. What also makes uberACCESS different for riders is that your journey only begins once you’re safely secured in the vehicle – meaning that you can spend the time you need getting into the vehicle without worrying about the fare piling up. In London, uberACCESS prices are, on average, 30% less than those of a black cab.

Control

Travel should fit around your plans, not the other way around. That’s why with Uber we’ve got a load of smart features to ensure you’re in control. Being able to track your driver in real time, sharing your ETA and allowing friends and family to follow your trip remotely are all features that can help wheelchair users feel more in control of their journey and spend less time thinking about logistics and more time spent getting on with their plans.

Here’s how to request uberACCESS

  1. Download the Uber app and create your account
  2. Enter your destination address in the ‘Where to?’ bar
  3. Scroll left along the menu until you see the ‘More’ option and select uberACCESS
  4. Tap the ‘Request uberACCESS’ button.
  5. Once your request is confirmed, your driver is on their way to collect you and you’ll be able to track the journey in real time. You can get in touch at any point by sliding the block with the driver’s details upwards and tapping ‘Contact’

All vehicles on uberACCESS are large enough to comfortably accommodate a rider in a standard reference size wheelchair. If you have a much larger wheelchair, please email supportuk@uber.com for further information.

Ruth Owen, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz, said:

“When Uber launched wheelchair accessible vehicles in London, many of the young people we work with told us how useful it was to have another option for getting across town. We are delighted that disabled young people in Manchester and Birmingham will now be able to take advantage of this brilliant service.”

“Being able to get from A to B easily, quickly and – most importantly – spontaneously, is so important for so many disabled young people. We welcome Uber’s ongoing commitment – not only to the Whizz-Kidz Accessible Transport Alliance – but also to providing accessible means of transport across the UK, and we look forward to seeing where they expand to next.”

James Taylor, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Scope, said:

“We are pleased to see Uber expanding uberACCESS around the UK. This will help further increase choice in the taxi and private hire vehicle market for disabled people.

“Accessible transport is vital for many disabled people and new options can help drive down the extra costs they face. Disabled people want to have the same choice as other consumers, and have the same options available on method of travel, time and price.”