Uber has recently launched a new option called UberWav in which customers can make use of the 44 wheelchair-accessible vehicles that are from their London fleet. The company says that with a “push of a button,” drivers from the service will still charge the same cost as cheaper as UberX fares.
Uber London Launches 55 New Wheelchar-Accessible Vehicles
Recently, Brighton councilors did consider as to whether they should grant Uber a license questioned options for wheelchair users. The launch of the new program involves accessibility charities for its development. Transport for All, Whizz-Kidz, as well as Scope have joined the support for the launch of the new service. The company says that they are investing in more than £1-million over the first 18-months of the program to properly establish the service.
UberWav vehicles will be equipped with which and restraints, and a rear-entry ramp, which allows wheelchair users to easily and carefully travel with one additional passenger. A spokesman from the company states that they are initially providing 55 vehicles for the new fleet. However, they planned to expand this to more than 100 “in the coming months.”
The spokesman also added that the expected wait times for these new line of vehicles is “around 25 minutes” in Zones 1-2 and “40 minutes” in Zones 3-4 within the first few weeks after launch. “We’re proud to be making one of the biggest ever investments in accessible private hire in London and will be working hard to keep waiting times as low as possible as the service expands,” said general manager of Uber in London Tom Elvidge.
According to Ruth Owen, chief executive of Whizz-Kidz, the service is “a step in the right direction.” She says that “this new initiative will give disabled people in London a much-needed additional option for planning their travels across the capital.”
Previously, the firm had faced criticism for not being able to offer wheelchair-accessible vehicles in more cities. Just recently, the firm had settled a court case in California after their drivers were accused of turning away passengers with guide dogs.
At the time of writing, London is the only location within the United Kingdom in which the new service from Uber is available. “London [black] cabs have always been easier to access because of their big doors and the space where seats flap up at the back. I think Uber in London were under more pressure because their main competitors had an advantage,” said Prof Tony Travers of the London School of Economics.