Transportation Network Companies Struggling with ADA Compliance
At the front lines of the developing issues is a "suit filed by three mobility-impaired plaintiffs from San Antonio and Houston, [which] claims that Uber and Lyft have violated the Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA, by failing to provide a way for wheelchair users to take advantage of their services."
In fact, explains Trautman, "The ADA requires vehicles-for-hire to offer 'reasonable accommodations' for wheelchair users, but 'generally that phrase has meant nothing,' says Sandra Rosenbloom, an urban planning professor at the University of Texas-Austin and a transportation expert at the Urban Institute. And though wheelchair-accessible vehicles are rare both in the traditional taxi system and through rideshare services, traditional taxi companies are required in many cities to make some of their vehicles wheelchair-accessible. Companies like Uber and Lyft have no such obligation."