New Yorkers for Equal Transportation Access nyeta
As the rise of Uber has begun to transform the transportation services industry, what has become clear is that for all of the support that the newcomer has garnered from a segment of the riding public, it has totally ignored the needs of the disabled. Uber has done so by claiming, against all evidence, that it is a technology company and not a Transportation Network Company-the generic name for most taxi and other car pick up services.
In response to Uber’s blatant disregard for the rights of the disabled-and its flouting of the American with Disabilities Act-a new group has been formed, New Yorkers for Equal Transportation Access (NYETA), to make sure that Uber conforms to the laws and regulations that every other Transportation Network Company must adhere to. No technological sleight of hand should allow this darling of Wall Street hedge funds to place itself outside of the law.
“There is a reason why Uber is being sued all over the country. In jurisdictions across this country, disabled folks are being humiliated by Uber drivers-denied service because of their disability. That a company whose valuation has been estimated to exceed $50 billion feels it can treat the disabled as second class citizens underscore the arrogance and the greed of Uber and its high roller investors.”
We have set up a petition on Change.org that calls on Governor Cuomo and the MTA to cease their collaboration with Uber in the agency’s otherwise laudable effort to make the para-transit system more cost efficient and effective for people with disabilities.
One of the major objections to the proposal to allow ride-hailing services like Uber to expand to upstate New York is that it does not include fingerprinting of drivers, although it's already required of all taxi operators in New York City — including Uber. Outside the city, ride-hailing firms conduct private driver screenings — underscoring how these app-based services, even though acting as public conveyances, believe their business should be shielded from regulators.
Ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft have grown increasingly popular in the last few years. During this time, both companies have faced numerous challenges to their business models, including lawsuits involving passenger safety and the misclassification of their drivers as independent contractors, as well as accusations that both drivers and passengers discriminate based on race and other factors.
AFA Gallery manager Frances Stern has worked with the world’s top artists, but she’s never seen anything like the Uber driver who took her for a wild ride into the Bronx, where she was forced to make a frightening escape, she says.
The MTA is considering including Uber in its Access-a-Ride program. Uber operates over 44,000 vehicles in NYC and, until the company hatched a scheme to poach 40 accessible green taxis from the boroughs, not a single one was accessible to wheelchair users.