If you live in or near New York City and use a motorized wheelchair/scooter, you may be eligible for our class action!
Uber and Lyft are hugely popular—but unfortunately there are some who are being left behind by the services. Many wheelchair users and disabled people say discrimination from ride-hailing services is the norm. Lyft refuses to provide services to people who use wheelchairs and motorized scooters. Numerous class-action lawsuits have been filed demanding equal access for those with disabilities. The lawsuits claim these companies don’t offer the same on-demand rides for people with disabilities as they do for everyone else. Advocates have been fighting this injustice for years and it’s far from over.
People with Disabilities Demand Access
Harriet Lowell is a sister, a wife, and an advocate. Unfortunately, Harriet, along with over 2.5 million Americans, faces many travel barriers because she uses a motorized scooter. To use Paratransit, for example, one must meet eligibility requirements and fill out an application. Plus, Paratransit is often unreliable and cannot be called at a moment’s notice. Harriet’s husband, Neil, can sometimes be a good sport and give Harriet a ride. But Harriet can’t always rely on Neil. For example, when Neil went to the hospital for surgery, Harriet could not visit him because she had no way to travel to the hospital on her own. Instead, she was stuck at home and left wondering why there were so few transportation options available to people with disabilities.
In a more just world, she would have been able to visit her husband, like any wife wants to do when her husband is in need. And this problem isn’t just about Harriet—millions of people with disabilities are denied access to transportation because of Lyft’s refusal to serve people who use motorized scooters or non-foldable wheelchairs.
Harriet and advocacy organization Westchester Disabled On The Move are now fighting against this injustice by leading a nationwide class action lawsuit against Lyft (Lyft fights to avoid Americans with Disabilities Act in federal court (politico.com). If Harriet wins, Lyft will have to serve people who use wheelchairs across the country. Harriet has a strong case, and the Judge called one of Lyft’s arguments to dismiss her case “supremely unjust.” But Harriet needs your help. She needs to gather the declarations to support her case. She will tell the judge that there are many people like her all around the nation who just need a ride, a ride that Lyft must provide under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The suit against Lyft says the company has done almost nothing to serve people who use wheelchairs. Even in the few areas where Lyft claims to provide wheelchair-accessible service, using its “access feature” only provides links and useless information—not actual accessible service.