The organization conducted an investigation that compared the experience of customers with and without disabilities. The ERC claims that Uber makes people in wheelchairs wait an average of eight times longer for an accessible solution to arrive and had to pay twice as much in fares. Further, it alleges that none of the more than 30,000 Uber cars in DC is capable of serving individuals who can’t use a folding wheelchair.
“Uber had the power to design and implement services in the District that connect wheelchair users to employment and educational opportunities, support services and cultural events,” said Michal Allen, a partner at the firm representing the ERC. “It just chose not to do so. By flouting federal and local accessibility laws, Uber deprives wheelchair users of the life-changing benefits of the convenient, affordable, on-demand services that Uber delivers to its customers who don’t use wheelchairs.”
This isn’t the first lawsuit Uber’s faced over accessibility, either. A couple of wheelchair users from Mississippi filed a suit last May, which alleged that Uber had no accessible options in the city of Jackson. A Chicago disability group also sued Uber for violating wheelchair accessibility laws last October.
Update: An Uber spokesperson sent Engadget the following statement in an email: “We take this issue seriously and are committed to continued work with the District, our partners, and stakeholders toward expanding transportation options and freedom of movement for all residents throughout the region.”