Lyft Access for Riders with Service Animals

Click here for case documents DRA, Guide-Dog Users, and NFB Work with Lyft to Achieve Comprehensive Accessibility Improvements for Lyft Riders with Service Animals Status:

DRA is representing the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and guide dog users in their efforts to secure equal access to Lyft’s transportation network nationwide.

Lyft provides transportation services through thousands of vehicles, to consumers throughout the nation. Lyft uses smartphone applications to create a convenient, streamlined experience, dispatching cars on-demand to drive passengers wherever they need to go.

It is important that these modern transportation services are available on an equal basis to individuals who are blind and use guide dogs. The NFB and two individuals who are blind and use guide dogs, represented by DRA, Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, and TRE Legal, have been working with Lyft to create a service animal policy and design other measures to ensure people with guide dogs have full and equal access to Lyft services.

On April 3, 2017, Lyft launched its new service animal policy and related education efforts pursuant to its agreement with NFB and individuals who use guide dogs.

Addressing Ongoing Discrimination

The settlement went into effect in early 2017. If you have experienced discrimination by a Lyft driver who refused to give you a ride because of your service animal, you can file a report about it both with Lyft and with the NFB’s testing program.

Attorneys from Disability Rights Advocates, TRE Legal, and Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld will be monitoring Lyft’s compliance with the settlement over the next few years.

Filing complaints takes time and can be inconvenient when you are simply trying to reach your travel destination. But your complaints to Lyft and to the NFB’s testing program are making a difference because they enable our legal team to ensure Lyft is fulfilling its settlement commitments.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Complain to Lyft. The agreement requires Lyft to investigate reports and if appropriate, take action against the drivers. In addition, Lyft collects data on the number of complaints they receive which is very important to ensuring it is complying with the agreement. You can also report problems to Lyft on their Service Animal Hotline at 1-844-250-3174.

Please keep in mind the following when using Lyft and submitting complaints when you experience discrimination:

  • Help the driver know it is not a pet. Tell your driver, via text or in person, that you are traveling with your service animal.
  • Tell Lyft how your driver knew it was a service animal. When you complain, let them know that you told the driver about your service animal via text or on the phone, or that the animal was wearing a harness. If your driver cancels right after receiving a text letting them know that you are traveling with your service animal, this is evidence of discrimination. If the incident was witnessed by another person, tell Lyft and if possible provide contact information for the witness.
  • Report non-service denial discrimination. If you experience forms of discrimination related to your service animal other than being denied a ride, please report these to Lyft and to NFB or our legal team.
  • Report accessibility issues. Continue to let Lyft and the NFB know about any technical/accessibility problems you encounter using the apps or complaint forms.

Report to NFB. When you register your incident with the NFB, we can follow up with Lyft about your complaint. You also can notify us by sending an email to Melissa Riess at mriess@dralegal.org. Please include details about the denial of service, including date, location, name of driver, vehicle, what happened, why you believe that the driver knew or should have known your animal was a service animal, whether you submitted a complaint to Lyft, and how Lyft responded.

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