Uber doesn’t have to offer wheelchair-accessible rides in every market, judge rules

Story at a glance


  • A California judge ruled this week that Uber is not required to offer wheelchair-accessible vehicles for disabled customers.  

  • The ruling comes after three people who use non-foldable wheelchairs sued the company arguing that it was violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

  • Judge Richard Seeborg found that none of the plaintiffs provided sufficient evidence that the company could run a cost-effective wheelchair-accessible program.  

Uber is not required to provide wheelchair-accessible vehicles, a California judge ruled this week.  

Two plaintiffs from New Orleans who use motorized wheelchairs sued the company for their lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles, saying it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Another plaintiff, Scott Crawford from Jackson, Mississippi, used the same argument to also file a lawsuit.  

The ADA requires that companies make reasonable efforts to provide  services to people with disabilities that are equivalent to the services they offer to others. 


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But U.S. District Chief Judge Richard Seeborg ruled in San Francisco on Monday that Crawford and the Louisianna co-plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient evidence that the ride-share company violated the law, according to PBS. 

In the ruling, Judge Seeborg also argued that the plaintiffs did not provide enough evidence that Uber could run a cost-effective wheelchair-accessible service in both cities, according to The Verge.  

Even if Uber were to set up a wheelchair-accessible service, disabled passengers would potentially have to wait long periods of time for those vehicles, Seeborg said according to the outlet.  

Uber argued that offering wheelchair-accessible vehicles would be too costly, roughly $800,000 a year in New Orleans and $550,000 in Jackson, and would be too difficult to roll out in either city.  

Costs were based on a 16-hour service window on weekdays and 10 hours per weekend day, according to PBS.  


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