Uber launches a new service called UberASSIST after initiating a programme of Disability Equality Training (DET).
Transport for All and our partner organisation Inclusion London (IL) were engaged by Uber to deliver bespoke face to face DET to partner-drivers who will be operating on the UberASSIST platform. UberASSIST is a new service that offers disabled and older passengers the option of getting a driver trained in providing assistance to disabled passengers. This training will equip them to better serve disabled passengers with different impairments. As with all of our other DET programmes it was designed and delivered by disabled people and grounded in the social model of disability.
How to book UberASSIST
To book an UberASSIST trip, riders have to download the app and create an account. They then need to enter in the code ‘ASSISTUK’ into the promotions screen to use the service. This service will be at the same price as regular Uber trips.
At the same time Uber have also indicated that next year they will be launching wheelchair accessible vehicles on their platform. Currently, very few vehicles available on the Uber platform are wheelchair accessible so these new proposals are very welcome.
The launch of UberASSIST is a positive initiative. TfA has lobbied for many years for DET for all transport staff including in London’s Taxi and PHV sector. We were therefore delighted when Transport for London (TfL) proposed making DET a condition of licensing for all PHV drivers. We know that it will make a real difference to the customer service given to disabled passengers. Both TfA and IL would very much welcome the opportunity to work with the sector to upskill drivers in their knowledge and understanding of how to assist disabled passengers – and we hope all taxi and PHV operators will make similar investments in training.