Ride Share Discrimination

They Should Be Held Accountable

Transportation is essential for people of all ages and backgrounds to live a fulfilling and satisfying life. It plays a vital role in many aspects of daily life, including access to employment, education, health care, and social/recreational activities. Put simply, transportation is a requirement for full participation in a community. Despite the obvious importance, people with disabilities have historically been provided limited choices when it comes to transportation.

Rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have become an important transportation option for Californians in recent years. If these companies delivered equal and non-discriminatory service, they could provide a great benefit to people with disabilities who have traditionally been underserved by transportation providers. To date, however, Uber and Lyft have neglected people with disabilities in significant ways, including the failure to provide wheelchair-accessible vehicles, and the failure to ensure that drivers abstain from discrimination (e.g. refusing to transport service dogs).

In order to hold rideshare companies accountable for discrimination and facilitate improvements in service, it is important to file grievances whenever you have a discriminatory experience. Both the Uber and Lyft platforms allow users to file complaints through their app. You can also file grievances online.

The filing of complaints helps document ongoing or widespread issues with the platform (or particular drivers on the platform), and is an essential way in which riders can participate in making the service more efficient and accessible to all.

In addition to filing grievances, riders who experience discrimination using Uber or Lyft can demand to arbitrate their claims. The terms of service for both platforms contain clauses that require riders to resolve disputes through mandatory arbitration and preclude them from filing suit in a court of law.

If you experience discrimination using Uber or Lyft, call Potter Handy LLP for advice and/or assistance with arbitration.

2 thoughts on “Ride Share Discrimination

  1. Ellea Reply

    Please hurry these important 2 cases, as they immediately put all existing wc-accessible taxis out of biz. Now are making big paratransit vans charge more and come less timely. They must be scheduled at least a day in advance. No flexible rides same day rides at all, ever since uber/Lyft arrived.

  2. Marcia McLean Reply

    Yes,to the above remarks. NCTD in Oceanside is very non ADA/RA friendly experience. It is notable that the new norm is to keep the most high risk population in conditions that create illness via failure to accommodate for heat illness and also the vehicles have more than likely not ever had a cleaning to the HVAC. This is something that people with breathing problems take care of with their private vehicles. It was not unusual to ride in small vans last summer with 5-6 people and no AC. Additionally I and others were left in high heat index conditions while drivers would rack up miles going east/west and pass waiting passengers. When I inquired about social distancing to some coordinator I received a terse reply that all kinds of chems were being used and social distancing was not on the agenda. Look at gonctd website and see what you can find regarding users of paratransit. I see zip. I plan to deliver all my LYFT ride receipts for reimbursement. I have done my due diligence with them and there is a limit of excuses that any person should be required to hear. It is my understanding that they now have social distancing and free rides. That’s the jist of the experience. Outsourcing is not good for riders in this case. Thanks for reading this. Marcia S McLean

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