A disability rights group is suing Uber over charges that the ride-hailing service violates New York City human rights laws by failing to ensure that enough of its vehicles are accessible to physically disabled riders.
According to the class action complaint filed Tuesday in New York, Uber does offer wheelchair-accessible rides through the service it calls UberWAV, but less than 100 vehicles in Uber's NYC fleet provide this.
The proposed class-action complaint accused Uber of "pervasive and ongoing discrimination" because people in wheelchairs can use only a few dozen of its more than 58,000 vehicles in the city.
Given Uber's growing popularity, this "substantially undermines" the benefits of New York City's prior commitment to make half of its yellow taxis wheelchair-accessible by 2020, the complaint said.
"Riders either face very long wait times or can't get rides at all," Rebecca Serbin, a staff attorney for Disability Rights Advocates, said in an interview. "The human rights law reflects the City Council's commitment to accessibility. Uber is flagrantly violating that law."
No comment from Uber, which had yet to review the complaint filed in state Supreme Court in Manhattan at the time of the Reuters scoop.
The complaint was filed by Brooklyn Center for Independence for the Disabled (BCID), Disabled in Action of Metropolitan New York, and the Taxis for All Campaign, and demands that Uber implement a plan "to ensure full and equal access to its services for riders who require accessible transportation."
The case is 'Brooklyn Center for Independence for the Disabled et al v. Uber Technologies Inc et al, New York State Supreme Court, New York County.'