The companies require drivers to accommodate riders with collapsible wheelchairs.
However, Lyft’s website directs those with wheelchairs that don’t fold into a trunk to seek another transportation service for a ride. Uber has partnered with other groups to provide wheelchair-accessible transportation in eight U.S. cities, but it hasn’t announced plans to do so in Lincoln or Omaha.
Steve Walline, 65, has cerebral palsy and uses an electric wheelchair to get around, but catching a ride from Uber or Lyft isn’t possible for him, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
“If you’re out after midnight, you have very few options,” he said about finding transportation.
Representatives for Uber and Lyft say the companies are working to make their services available to as many people as possible.
The lack of handicap-accessible rides led to one lawsuit filed in Texas, claiming that Uber is violating the American With Disabilities Act.
Attorneys for Uber have argued that their business model doesn’t fit within the ADA’s definitions for a place of public accommodation, a public facility, a public transportation service or a taxi service. Lyft also was a defendant in the case but was dismissed in March.
The companies are based on streamlined, Internet-based model that operates outside regulations that taxi services must follow. Uber and Lyft don’t provide rides themselves, but rather connect drivers with riders.
Both companies moved into Nebraska last year. A bill in the state Legislature would establish a regulatory framework for the ride-hailing services.