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Car-for-hire companies sued over lack of wheelchair accessibility

Car-for-hire companies sued over lack of wheelchair accessibility

Car-for-hire companies Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. discriminate against the disabled by not providing wheelchair-accessible vehicles, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court.

Plaintiffs Laura Posadas and Tina Williams of Houston and Dan Ramos of San Antonio — all of whom are wheelchair-bound — claim both Uber and Lyft are obligated under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide people with mobility impairments equal access to their vehicle-for-hire services, according to documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in San Antonio.

The lawsuit claims that Uber and Lyft “allow vehicles-for-hire to deny service to the disabled.”

Additionally, the lawsuit claims that the San Francisco-based companies “provide no training or guidance” to drivers regarding their obligations under ADA regulations to accommodate disabled consumers.

Uber did not immediately return requests for comment about the case.

In an email to Business Insurance, a spokeswoman for Lyft did not address the lawsuit's allegations directly, saying that “many disabled individuals, who were previously underserved by existing transportation options, now actively use and rely on Lyft as a reliable, safe and affordable way to get around.”

The plaintiffs have asked a federal judge to issue a permanent injunction forcing both companies to comply with the relevant ADA regulations.