UberWAVs Mean Cheap Cab Fares for Wheelchair Users (Finally!)By Elouise Mullen -
The Hackney Carriage. It’s one of the most recognisable emblems of London, and features on souvenirs and post cards all over the city. Between the Hackney Carriage, the London Underground, and the iconic red double-decker bus, London’s public transport serves pretty well on the whole. However, getting around London can be a little tricky in a wheelchair. While some tube stations provide step-free access, and buses feature priority seats, the most accessible method to zip around the capital remains the good old Hackney Carriage.
However, black cab prices ain’t cheap. The average cost of a ride from the Marble Arch to Westminster can cost anywhere in the region of £10-£15. UberX recently caused quite a fuss when they emerged on the scene as a cab company with significantly cheaper fares than black cabs. The same journey from the Marble Arch to Westminster can cost as little as £6 with UberX (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/uber/11902613/Proof-that-Uber-costs-less-than-black-cabs.html). Great news! Right? Actually, not so great, as UberX did not cater for customers who used a wheelchair. Wheelchair users were therefore missing out on the incredible savings that other travellers were making by using UberX instead black cab companies.
Well, not for long! UberX announced this week that they have acquired a number of wheelchair accessible vehicles (UberWAVs), which will be available in London at the same rates as their standard fares. The company currently have 55 UberWAVs, and expect to have over 100 within the next few months (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/05/10/uber-to-offer-wheelchair-ready-cars-in-london/). The currently limited number of UberWAVs available means that customers can expect to wait around 25 minutes in zones 1 & 2, and up to 40 minutes in zones 3 & 4. However, this is definitely a step in the right direction for the company, as they will be helping London’s 161,000 wheelchair users save up to 30% on their taxi fares (http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/disability-and-mobility-london).
As UberWAVs become popular in London, I am certain that UberX will widen their reach to offer UberWAVs to customers in the other cities that the company operates too, helping to make city travel Limitless for everyone.