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Updates

October 31, 2023: After multiple attempts of reaching out to Uber through mails, their grievance redressal form on their website and app, and social media platforms, Jhatkaa representatives, along with Paralympian Vibhas Sen, visited the Uber Gurgaon headquarters to personally deliver the petition and raise concerns to the Uber leadership. However, they were not allowed to meet anyone. Jhatkaa is committed to the cause and will continue to find ways of reaching out to Uber.

What is UberACCESS and UberASSIST?


In 2017, Uber initiated two services UberACCESS and UberASSIST to provide accessible and inclusive transportation.


The UberASSIST service was meant for any other passengers who would like assistance from well-trained drivers. Over 500 vehicles, mostly UberPremium sedans, were reserved for those who requested UberASSIST. The service proved to be especially helpful for the elderly, people with short-term disabilities, as well as for people with vision impairment.


Through the UberACCESS services, riders could request a WAV or a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle service for the first time in India in Bengaluru. This on-demand cab service was aimed at facilitating independent commutes for people with disabilities, especially for those using wheelchairs. These vehicles also had an extra wheelchair and a medical kit for emergencies.


Both these services provided freedom of mobility to those who would otherwise have to avail expensive and unevenly available services or depend on other people for their commutes.


Vijay N M, founder of Karnataka Wheelchair Cricket Association, shared his positive experiences with UberACCESS: "My first UberACCESS ride? To a blood donation camp in Jayanagar, where I was invited as a Chief Guest. The service was so convenient.” [2]


What is the issue?


While up to 2022 there was an option to click on ‘UberACCESS’ there were never any vehicles available. It hasn’t come back since then.


Vijay, who would be able to leave his home once a week when the UberACCESS was active, now only leaves once a month. This is largely due to the high pricing of WAV currently available costing almost 4x the price one would pay to UberACCESS for the same service.


Between 2018 and 2020, 33,07,703 trips were booked through the UberACCESS and UberASSIST services, according to a report.[3] Such a high number is indicative of the need for inclusive and accessible services.


Riders who use motorised or electric wheelchairs often find it challenging to use regular Uber services like UberGo or Premium. Some drivers may not be able to accommodate wheelchairs, or they might not be familiar with how to help, which can be frustrating. Such wheelchairs are easily prone to damage if mishandled, which can render users immobile.


What can you do?


In contrast, services like WAVs and trained-driver support increase the independence of wheelchair users, those with limited mobility, and those needing assistance. Demanding accessibility for all is important if we want to truly inhabit a just and equal society for all. Join us in demanding Uber to reinstate WAVs and UberASSIST service to make the on-demand cab service accessible for persons with disabilities by signing the petition now.


[1]https://www.uber.com/ca/en/drive/services/uberwav/ 

[2]https://www.linkedin.com/posts/aishwaryasoni0710_wheelchair-accessible-vehicles-activity-7103580835672453120-fPym?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop 

[3]https://www.mphasis.com/content/dam/mphasis-com/global/en/csr/uber-india-ltd-uber-access-program-for-accessible-transportation-for-persons-with-disabilities.pdf

Updates

October 31, 2023: After multiple attempts of reaching out to Uber through mails, their grievance redressal form on their website and app, and social media platforms, Jhatkaa representatives, along with Paralympian Vibhas Sen, visited the Uber Gurgaon headquarters to personally deliver the petition and raise concerns to the Uber leadership. However, they were not allowed to meet anyone. Jhatkaa is committed to the cause and will continue to find ways of reaching out to Uber.

What is UberACCESS and UberASSIST?


In 2017, Uber initiated two services UberACCESS and UberASSIST to provide accessible and inclusive transportation.


The UberASSIST service was meant for any other passengers who would like assistance from well-trained drivers. Over 500 vehicles, mostly UberPremium sedans, were reserved for those who requested UberASSIST. The service proved to be especially helpful for the elderly, people with short-term disabilities, as well as for people with vision impairment.


Through the UberACCESS services, riders could request a WAV or a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle service for the first time in India in Bengaluru. This on-demand cab service was aimed at facilitating independent commutes for people with disabilities, especially for those using wheelchairs. These vehicles also had an extra wheelchair and a medical kit for emergencies.


Both these services provided freedom of mobility to those who would otherwise have to avail expensive and unevenly available services or depend on other people for their commutes.


Vijay N M, founder of Karnataka Wheelchair Cricket Association, shared his positive experiences with UberACCESS: "My first UberACCESS ride? To a blood donation camp in Jayanagar, where I was invited as a Chief Guest. The service was so convenient.” [2]


What is the issue?


While up to 2022 there was an option to click on ‘UberACCESS’ there were never any vehicles available. It hasn’t come back since then.


Vijay, who would be able to leave his home once a week when the UberACCESS was active, now only leaves once a month. This is largely due to the high pricing of WAV currently available costing almost 4x the price one would pay to UberACCESS for the same service.


Between 2018 and 2020, 33,07,703 trips were booked through the UberACCESS and UberASSIST services, according to a report.[3] Such a high number is indicative of the need for inclusive and accessible services.


Riders who use motorised or electric wheelchairs often find it challenging to use regular Uber services like UberGo or Premium. Some drivers may not be able to accommodate wheelchairs, or they might not be familiar with how to help, which can be frustrating. Such wheelchairs are easily prone to damage if mishandled, which can render users immobile.


What can you do?


In contrast, services like WAVs and trained-driver support increase the independence of wheelchair users, those with limited mobility, and those needing assistance. Demanding accessibility for all is important if we want to truly inhabit a just and equal society for all. Join us in demanding Uber to reinstate WAVs and UberASSIST service to make the on-demand cab service accessible for persons with disabilities by signing the petition now.


[1]https://www.uber.com/ca/en/drive/services/uberwav/ 

[2]https://www.linkedin.com/posts/aishwaryasoni0710_wheelchair-accessible-vehicles-activity-7103580835672453120-fPym?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop 

[3]https://www.mphasis.com/content/dam/mphasis-com/global/en/csr/uber-india-ltd-uber-access-program-for-accessible-transportation-for-persons-with-disabilities.pdf

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