Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco (ILRC), et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al.
On October 24, 2018, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) filed a major class action lawsuit against Uber challenging the popular ride-sharing service’s lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The federal lawsuit was brought by a coalition of individuals and disability rights groups in the San Francisco Bay Area: the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco, Community Resources for Independent Living, and three individuals who use wheelchairs.
The case, filed in federal court in San Francisco, challenges Uber’s failure to provide wheelchair-accessible service as a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Wheelchair users cannot rely on Uber as a transportation option because wheelchair-accessible Ubers are often unavailable and, when they are available, have significantly longer wait times than other Uber services. Passengers who need wheelchair-accessible service are also denied access to features available to passengers who can use Uber’s inaccessible service, including the ability to book a ride in advance.
People who use wheelchairs in the Bay Area already have limited transportation options and, if the company provided equal and non-discriminatory service, it could provide a great benefit to people who use wheelchair accessible vehicles. DRA’s ultimate goal is to ensure that Uber institutes a comprehensive remedial scheme to address its current exclusion of riders with mobility disabilities.