Push a button, get a ride. This simple concept has revolutionized how many of us think about mobility in cities around the world. At Uber, we believe that affordable, reliable transportation should be available at the push of a button for everyone, everywhere.
Unfortunately, this is not the reality for many people with disabilities. For those who require wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs), transportation options can be even more difficult. That’s why over the past year we have been working with disability advocates and accessibility organizations across Chicago to put together a new, collaborative blueprint for expanding accessibility options for all Chicagoans.
Beginning today, we are proud to announce the expansion of our UberWAV product in Chicago. UberWAV was previously available in Chicago for riders who entered in a special code. With today’s expansion, riders across Chicago can open their Uber app and tap a button on their smartphone to be connected with a wheelchair accessible vehicle. No code required. These vehicles are driven by drivers who are certified in WAV best practices and vehicle securement through third parties, such as the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO), or the Open Doors Organization. The WAV’s side-entry ramp enables a wheelchair user to ride safely and comfortably with up to three additional passengers, and fares will be the same as the affordable uberX option.
Although there is certainly more work to be done, we look forward to taking this next step toward improving access to mobility options throughout Chicago. Over the past six years, we have worked hard to enable driver partners to serve residents across every neighborhood, particularly in areas that were previously underserved by transportation.
Whether it’s getting to a doctor’s appointment or a trip to the grocery store, everyone should have access to safe, affordable, and reliable transportation. Developing and implementing new solutions to this ongoing mobility challenge is an issue we take very seriously, and we will be monitoring our progress and constantly refining the product based on feedback from riders and drivers over the next few months. As we head into the rest of 2017, we’re eager to continue working with leaders and advocates across the disability community to support everyone’s ability to push a button and get a ride.