Uber launches wheelchair accessible vehicle option in Manchester and Birmingham

Uber is today (Thursday) launching its first ever wheelchair accessible vehicles in Manchester and Birmingham. From 4pm today, wheelchair users will be able to request an accessible licensed private-hire vehicle through the ACCESS option on the Uber app.

For many wheelchair users, getting from A to B affordably can be a daily challenge. Public transport is not always accessible and taxis can be an expensive way to travel. With the launch of uberACCESS, users now have a new option and the ability to book a convenient and reliable ride at the touch a button at the same cost as our uberX fares. ACCESS trips require no advance planning and wheelchair users can book a car that is on average 25% cheaper than a black cab.

This expansion follows the success of uberACCESS (previously called uberWAV) in London where already hundreds of wheelchair users have booked thousands of trips with an average wait time of just 15 minutes.

From today, uberACCESS can be booked in Manchester and Birmingham city centres. Vehicles are equipped with a rear-entry ramp and restraints, enabling a wheelchair user to ride safely and comfortably with one additional passenger. We will be working hard to keep waiting times as low as possible as the service expands but in the first few weeks we expect average wait times of around 20 minutes in both cities.

All uberACCESS partners are top-rated drivers who have received Disability Equality Training from Transport for All and Inclusion London. As with all partners on the Uber app, drivers are licensed for private hire by a local authority and have gone through an enhanced DBS check – the same as black cab drivers, teachers and care workers.

Wheelchair users booking a car with Uber can get up to £15 off their first trip by entering the promotional code ‘ACCESSUK’ into the app.

uberACCESS builds on Uber’s uberASSIST option already available in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Sheffield for riders who want some additional assistance. uberASSIST drivers have all received training from Transport for All to support riders with folding wheelchairs, walkers and scooters.

Jo Bertram, General Manager for Uber in the UK and Ireland, said:

“We’re excited to be able to expand uberACCESS to Manchester and Birmingham and look forward to launching in other cities across the UK. With this option wheelchair users now have a convenient and reliable way to get from A to B – on their terms – at the same affordable price as uberX.”

Ruth Owen, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz, said:

“When Uber launched wheelchair accessible vehicles in London, many of the young people we work with told us how useful it was to have another option for getting across town. We are delighted that disabled young people in Manchester and Birmingham will now be able to take advantage of this brilliant service.”

“Being able to get from A to B easily, quickly and – most importantly – spontaneously, is so important for so many disabled young people. We welcome Uber’s ongoing commitment – not only to the Whizz-Kidz Accessible Transport Alliance – but also to providing accessible means of transport across the UK, and we look forward to seeing where they expand to next.”

James Taylor, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Scope, said:

“We are pleased to see Uber expanding uberACCESS around the UK. This will help further increase choice in the taxi and private hire vehicle market for disabled people.

“Accessible transport is vital for many disabled people and new options can help drive down the extra costs they face. Disabled people want to have the same choice as other consumers, and have the same options available on method of travel, time and price.”

Find out more about Uber at www.uber.com/en-GB

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