Getting around town is not an easy task with the big number of commuters daily. This may become more challenging for those who use assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, to help them with their community mobility. Fortunately, there are now ridesharing forms of transportation that make commuting easier. The next question would now be – how do you find a wheelchair-friendly ride?
What is Ridesharing?
Ridesharing is a relatively new product of the technological advancements that have come about over the past few years. It combines the use of GPS navigation, smartphones with applications, and social networks with internet to allow real-time and dynamic carpooling among commuters.
They are usually operated through the use of a mobile and online app, where ridesharing drivers can show their location for commuters to request a ride. Through time, ridesharing has evolved and now includes a variety of vehicle types. Among popular ridesharing applications in the United States are Uber, Lyft, Gett, Juno, Curb, Wingz, Via, Arro and Flywheel.
Qualities to Look for in Wheelchair-Accessible Ridesharing
A good ridesharing app can provide the best quality service to all its users while also promoting inclusion even to people with disabilities. Drivers and passengers of ridesharing apps should likewise observe some standards which include:
Treating passengers with respect
All riders must be treated with respect by both the driver and other passengers. Treating everyone equally and respecting each other’s differences is common courtesy.
Giving personal space
This does not only include physical space, but also respecting each other’s privacy.
Making sure safety is a priority
People who use a wheelchair may need more precautions, especially in handling and driving. Ensuring safety such as the proper wearing of seatbelts and following traffic rules are a must.
Ridesharing Applications with Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicles or WAV Options
Finding a ridesharing vehicle that is wheelchair-accessible can be quite difficult given its high demand. Not a lot of ridesharing applications offer these services unlike other public transportation systems, which are required by law to be wheelchair-accessible. Because they are primarily tech companies, issues on the accessibility of their vehicles are not given as much attention.
However, there are still some options available in the widely used ridesharing applications like UberWAV and Access Mode of Lyft. Here, you can ask for wheelchair-accessible vehicles for your carpool. UberAssist is also available where trained drivers can assist with transfers and other similar needs. However, since these services are quite limited, you might need to book them a bit earlier.
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