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Disabled New Yorkers protest Uber over lack of accessible cars

Dustin Jones of Bronx, 27, a disability advocate

Dustin Jones of Bronx, 27, a disability advocate who sits on the board of Disabled In Action, gets of a yellow cap to join the Taxis For All Campaign protest outside Uber's New York City headquarters in Manhattan on Thursday, July 30, 2015. Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Uber has more than 20,000 black and luxury cars now on city streets and makes up 74% of the black car industry, new data shows.

None of its black and luxury cars are accessible to passengers in wheelchairs, however. The company's solution has been its uberWAV program, which dispatches accessible green cabs, but they only service the outer-boroughs and upper Manhattan.

Phillip Walls, 66, said he and his wife both use wheelchairs but can't try out Uber because a green cab won't pick them up at their Chelsea home.

"I don't think it's fair," said Walls, who relies on yellow cabs and Access-a-Ride instead.

About a dozen New Yorkers with disabilities protested in front of Uber's offices on 28th Street, chanting "Uber discriminates."

Dustin Jones, 27, from the Belmont section of the Bronx said he took a yellow cab to the protest from Penn Station.

"I might as well flag down a cab in the first place," instead of bothering to use Uber, he said.

Uber said it provides almost 1,000 wheelchair-accessible green cab trips a week with average waits of 5 minutes.

It launched the service last summer, and wants green cabs to be able to pick up passengers in wheelchairs anywhere in Manhattan.

"While others have long resisted providing real options for New Yorkers with disabilities, Uber on its own created the most reliable accessible transportation option in NYC, uberWAV," said the company in a statement.


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