Uber wants to change D.C. legislation aimed to increase wheelchair accessible cabs

Most students know the struggle of trying to rush back to campus when the closest Uber is at least 15 minutes away, while failing to hail a cab in the D.C. streets. Well, imagine how hard that would be if you could ride only in fewer than 1 percent of all cabs in the District?

The For Hire Vehicle Accessibility Amendment Act is attempting to increase the number of wheelchair accessible for-hire vehicles by providing $10,000 in tax credits for D.C. cab companies, including Uber, to buy accessible vehicles.

It sounds like a pretty solid plan, but Uber is actually lobbying to change this proposed legislation because they believe it will “place excessive regulatory burdens on private vehicle-for-hire companies,” according to the company’s spokesperson.

Uber does not want to report the number of wheelchair accessible trips requested and has successfully fought all past legislation that would require the private company to do so, since the ridesharing service believes that this requirement should apply only to public D.C. cab companies.

Advocates for the proposed legislation from the United States Spinal Association believe that all companies should be subject to the requirement in order to see how successful the program is.

While the number of wheelchair accessible cabs is egregiously low in D.C., the current law requires that all cab companies with at least 20 vehicles must have at least 6 percent wheelchair accessible cabs by the end of the year.

Uber wants to be the most efficient company in the District, but wont comply with legislation that would help them serve even more people? Vox thinks that from now on, she’ll see how lucky her thumb is at hailing a cab, rather than placing it on an app.

Photo: CasketCoach via Flickr

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