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Wheelchair users sue car services Uber and Lyft over lack of access

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Three residents of Texas have filed a lawsuit that claims popular car services Uber and Lyft are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by denying service to mobility impaired passengers.

In a complaint filed Monday in San Antonio, military veteran Dan Ramos and two Houston women, Laura Posadas and Tina Williams, ask a federal court to suspend the companies’ operations until they provide wheelchair access.

The complaint notes that the trio rely on wheelchairs, and points to anti-discrimination provisions in the ADA and in a Department of Transportation regulation that covers taxi services. It claims:

Uber and Lyft allow their vehicles-for-hire to deny service to the disabled. In addition, Uber and Lyft provide no training or guidance to the vehicles-for-hire that use their service concerning lawfully meeting the needs of disabled consumers.

In response to a request for comment, Lyft suggested by email that the service does assist mobility impaired individuals.

“Lyft aims to accommodate anyone in the community who needs a ride, and 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,” a Lyft spokesperson wrote.

An Uber spokesperson likewise suggested that its service may help those lacking mobility to get around:

“Our technology has increased the mobility and freedom of Uber riders and driver partners with disabilities.  Uber provides best-in-class request options for disabled riders and is a leader in harnessing technology to increase mobility.”

Uber and Lyft operate in a growing number of cities, and have experienced numerous legal clashes with regulators and the taxi industry as they have expanded.

The complaint does not state if all or just part of the Lyft and Uber fleets must become ADA compliant. According to a 2012 New York Times report, an appeals court dismissed an ADA-related class action over New York’s failure to make more cabs wheelchair-accessible; at the time, around 230 of New York’s yellow cabs could accommodate wheelchair passengers.

Updated with Lyft comment at 6:10pm ET, and Uber comment on Wednesday

Here’s the 6-page complaint, which was spotted by Courthouse News:

ADA Complaint Against Uber

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10 Responses to “Wheelchair users sue car services Uber and Lyft over lack of access”

  1. pitbullstew

    NBC Undercover Investigative Report Shows Rampant Illegal TNC Airport Pickups
    Posted on June 3, 2014

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Users of mobile app-based transportation services like Uber, Lyft or Sidecar may not know that the driver picking them from the airport is operating illegally. The NBC Investigative Unit went undercover and found drivers ignoring airport transportation rules. The Investigative Unit even found drivers without valid licenses, insurance and driving unregistered cars.

    Full story at

  2. pitbullstew


    Before we get into the many news items where UBER and Lyft
    are being trashed and exposed as illegal everywhere, let’s take a
    minute and ask why we are having this discussion in the first place.

    A very appropriate comparison:

    Let’s say politicians and regulators woke up one day and decided
    to apply the same operating rules to passenger airlines that are
    now being passed in a few locales for UBER:

    1) Airplanes would not be inspected

    2) Pilots would not need licenses

    3) Pilots would not require physicals, drug tests or fingerprints
    and they could work as many hours straight as they wanted.

    4) Airplanes could set their own routes and schedules, come and
    go as they please to any airport, no landing fees.

    5) Airlines could discriminate against minority and handicapped

    6) Airline insurance would only apply to paying passengers once
    the plane was in the air. If the plane crashed on landing or takeoff,
    nobody would be covered. If the plane crashed into an office
    building, nobody they killed would be covered.

    Impossible? Unacceptable?

    Well, UBER and Lyft are getting away with it and they are transporting
    the public for hire, just like airlines.

    Why are they getting away with it?

    Oh they are just the darlings of silicon valley, the early adopter geek
    wannabees, the millennial generation that is addicted to smartphone apps,
    the sharing economy, and people who hate the government. The “Public”
    is demanding these pirate taxis be “Given a chance”.

    In reality, it’s called follow the money. Go see the movie “American Hustle”.
    The decades have changed, the politicians have changed, but the concept
    of greed and crooked politicians at all levels with their hands out has not
    changed and likely never will.

    When UBER and Lyft enter a market, they hire the most expensive lobbyists
    in town. What do lobbyists do? They take politicians to restaurants like Spago
    and the Capitol Grill, order Crystale and Dom Perignon champagne, make
    jokes, slap people on their backs and pass envelopes crammed with $100
    bills under the table.

    This is the only reason UBER and Lyft have gotten as far as they have.
    We have the best politicians money can buy.


    UBER and Lyft invaded the city and proceeded to operate totally illegal
    with no permits of any kind (As they do everywhere else they go).

    Not happy with Chicago Officials, UBER moved to get a state law allowing
    them to operate. That law was very unhelpful. Back to the city. Mayor Rahm
    Emanuel passed a law that tightened rules up a little bit on UBER like
    3x retail maxmum surge pricing and full price declared on the screen.

    It also mandated toggle on insurance which is not required anywhere else.
    Rahm let the camel stick it’s nose inside the tent, however. Rahm’s brother
    Ari is a Hollywood super agent with clients like Matt Damon and Quentin
    Tarentino. Ari and Rahm both have huge stock holdings in UBER and
    Lyft. Ari has hosted lavish fundraisers for the Democratic Party.
    UBER and Goldman Sachs (UBER main investor) are clearly in bed with
    the Emanuel Brothers.


    AB 2293 passed the California Assembly with help from the Greater California
    Livery Association (GCLA). If ratified by the Senate, it could very well put UBER
    out of business.

    SACRAMENTO, CA (May 29, 2014) – An IIABCal-support legislative measure attempting to amend current law to eliminate an insurance coverage gap between Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) and affiliate drivers passed the Assembly Floor this past Tuesday following a 71-0 vote.
    AB 2293, authored by Assembly Member Susan Bonilla (D-Concord), establishes the necessary insurance rules that will help protect drivers, passengers, and the public while codifying guidelines that TNC’s must meet to operate in California.
    The bill would require a TNC to disclose in writing to participating drivers of the insurance coverage and limits of liability offered by the company and to advise the driver that a personal auto insurance policy may not provide sufficient coverage when operating as a commercial driver.


    New Jersey

    Trouble in paradise
    How Uber And Lyft Are Trying To Kill Each Other

    UBER Uses Convicted Felons For Drivers. NBC TV Channel 4 Exposee
    Click here: Uber Exposed: Who’s Behind the Wheel? | NBC Southern California

    New York Attorney General Schneiderman Looking into UBER

    Uber may also have run afoul of New York State laws against price gouging, which do serve the public interest. In the last year, in bad weather, Uber charged New Yorkers as much as eight times the company’s base price. We are investigating whether this is prohibited by the same laws under which I’ve sued gas stations that gouged motorists during Hurricane Sandy. Uber makes some persuasive arguments for its pricing model, but the ability to pay truly exorbitant prices shouldn’t determine someone’s ability to get critical goods and services when they’re in short supply in an emergency. I’m hopeful that the company will collaborate with us to address the problem thoughtfully.

    ON COOPERATION BETWEEN REGULATORS & THE TECH INDUSTRY: Just because a company has an app instead of a storefront doesn’t mean consumer protection laws don’t apply. The cold shoulder that regulators like me get from self-proclaimed cyberlibertarians deprives us of powerful partners in protecting the public interest online. While this may shield companies in the short run, authorities will ultimately be forced to use the blunt tools of traditional law enforcement. Cooperation is a better path.

    ON THE NEXT STEP: Regulators should not be deterred and, as a practical matter, they can’t and won’t be — we are now living in an online world, one that offers great promise but is also becoming one of the primary crime scenes of the 21st century. Major service providers cannot be allowed to treat it as a digital Wild West. The only question is how long it will take for these cybercowboys to realize that working with the sheriffs is both good business and the right thing to do.

    BOSTON Lawyer suing UBER for abusive labor practices.
    (She got a huge settlement against FedEx previously)

    Worldwide Map of all the places UBER has been declared illegal
    plus all RICO and plaintiff lawsuits against UBER

    UBER drivers game the system. (What do you expect? The CEO is a
    crook, setting the example for his minions)

    RICO Lawsuit against UBER in Connecticut

    IDAHO declares UBER Insurance fraudulent

    UBER encourages illegal drivers in Colorado, sleep-deprived and unsafe

    SEATTLE: UBER gets nose broken by passenger. Highlights no workers
    comp or health insurance for drivers. UBER neglects and abuses drivers.

    Lyft’s Moment of Truth As Passenger Breaks Seattle Driver’s Nose – Forbes

    LYFT Vehicle Inspection- kick the tailpipe and you’re ready to go !


    NBC National News, Exposee on UBER’s fraudulent insurance.
    Two passengers find out the hard way

    Taxi Drivers Wage “Holy War” against UBER

    Uber unites taxi drivers and owners in a beautiful partnership of hatred | PandoDaily

    Don’t Mess With Texas – Austin Impounds Lyft Cars, Arrests Drivers

    Austin impounds Lyft drivers’ cars |

    Why The Sharing Economy Won’t Work. Labor rights, discrimination.
    Long read, but tells it like it is. UBER will soon be toast.

    The Case Against Sharing | PopularResistance.Org

    Stay tuned for more stories about the illegal activities of UBER and Lyft
    and why they should be outlawed everywhere.

    Joe L. Jordan, Editor
    Limoinsider Report
    14173 Northwest Freeway #166
    Houston TX 77040

    713 680-3181
    [email protected]

  3. pitbullstew

    well now wait a minute there bucko?

    Isnt it both Uber and Lyft who repeatedly have asserted that they are not a taxi to begin with?

    ‘The complaint does not state if all or just part of the Lyft and Uber fleets must become ADA complaint. According to a 2012 New York Times report, an appeals court dismissed an ADA-related class action over New York’s failure to make more cabs wheelchair-accessible; at the time, around 230 of New York’s yellow cabs could accommodate wheelchair passengers’.

    You know, at some point some one is going to have to admit to being responsible some time, we have heard how in the example of the death of the child in SFO that Uber refuses to accept any liability, and we read now that Uber drivers who have been charged with violent attacks and have felony records are some how not the problem of Uber either, as Lyft says its donation based when we can google articles that prove the prices are fixed.

    Seems to me there’s a whole lotta BS going on out of the TNC’s, and this time around the ADA is very clear about how not to conduct business that the TNC’s dont seem to care about either.

  4. pitbullstew

    well now wait a minute bucko? Isnt it both Uber and Lyft who assert that they ARE NOT A TAXI?

    ‘The complaint does not state if all or just part of the Lyft and Uber fleets must become ADA complaint. According to a 2012 New York Times report, an appeals court dismissed an ADA-related class action over New York’s failure to make more cabs wheelchair-accessible; at the time, around 230 of New York’s yellow cabs could accommodate wheelchair passengers’.

  5. Okay I’m a huge supporter for disabled Americans, but come on disabled individuals should do their homework first, call the service make sure they are enough handy cap accessible vehicles in their area before making a compliant.

    • r00fus

      This is likely just another case where Taxicabs need to support (at least in some fashion) niche users as a part of regulations that Lyft and Uber can ignore while grabbing more profitable niches.

      It’s the same problem with charter schools – they can deny students, cherry-picking the best and improving their appearance while perhaps not doing any better teaching.