Independent taxi giant, Uber, has rolled out its fleet of wheelchair-accessible taxis across London, through the company’s minicab app available for smartphones.
The move has been welcomed by many members of the public in and around the capital city, as a wheelchair taxi service has been a long time coming for those with disabilities and reduced mobility. Where the stereotypical black cabs of London have been a long-standing feature of British culture, they have “consistently cited the need to take wheelchairs as a major reason why their fares are higher than those of Uber, and why their services are important for the capital to retain.”
The service, named uberWAV, has been a welcome relief for those living in and visiting in London who struggle to use public transport such as the Underground. Lisa Quinlan-Rahman, director of external affairs at the charity Scope, told The Guardian: “We are pleased that Uber is launching a new service for disabled customers. Disabled people want to have the same choice as all other consumers in London, and have the same options available on method of travel, time and price.”
UberWAV was introduced after criticism from the taxi industry that their services don’t do enough to cater for disabled passengers. However, as uberWAV costs the same as the standard Uber service, individuals have even more of a reason to enjoy their taxi journeys across the city. UberWav is another option which provides assistance and accommodates mobility scooter and wheelchair users, plus walkers.
Uber’s general manager for London, Tom Elvidge, told the Telegraph: “The launch of uberWAV is an important step forward in making convenient, safe and affordable transport available to everyone at the push of a bottom.
“This new option will give wheelchair users an additional way of getting from A to B with fares on average 30 per cent cheaper than black cabs.”
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