Call your legislators to say NO to Uber until they agree to become accessible to riders with disabilities!
Uber’s asking New Yorkers to write legislators this holiday season, arguing that it’s “prehistoric” and “embarrassing” that its company can’t operate in much of the state.
But you know what’s really prehistoric and embarrassing? Uber’s refusal to offer wheelchair-accessible vehicles to riders with disabilities.
ACTION: CALL TODAY and tell your legislator: “Until Uber changes its discriminatory practices, they don’t deserve to operate in New York.”
Here are the #s:
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie at 518-455-3791
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan at 518-455-2071.
Background: There is strong support from the Governor and many in the legislature to authorize Uber to operate statewide. Governor Cuomo has been calling on the legislature to handle this in a special session this month. If the legislature does not take up the issue this month, Governor Cuomo has indicated a desire for this to be part of budget negotiations. Absent from these conversations has been an assurance that wheelchair users would be able to access this service as well by mandating a percentage of vehicles are wheelchair-accessible.
Uber is already operating in New York City and discriminating against people with disabilities by not including any accessible vehicles in their fleet. They have refused to include accessible vehicles, despite being asked repeatedly by the disability community.
In 2013, the Taxis For All Campaign won an extraordinary victory after years of advocacy: By 2020, 50% of all yellow taxis in New York City must be wheelchair-accessible. Federal Judge George B. Daniels called it “one of the most significant acts of inclusion in this city since Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers.”
But since then, Uber and Lyft have caused chaos in the New York City taxi world. They now compete with yellow taxis for the same riders, but with none of the rules imposed on yellow taxis, including the 50% accessibility requirement. Drivers from virtually every taxi service, including Uber’s own drivers (who held a strike after a recent fare reduction), have objected to the Uber business model.
Outside New York City, there is virtually no wheelchair-accessible taxi service. In some communities, paratransit is the only option; in others, there is nothing. The State must play a major role in improving transportation for wheelchair users and other people with disabilities by ensuring accessible transportation in every community.