Uber meets UA

London has just seen the introduction of UberWAV, vehicles that allow users with wheelchairs to travel in style and ease

In May this year Uber UK launched its newest service, UberWAV, into the Greater London area. This service was developed together with the support of the UK charities Scope, Whizz-Kidz and Transport for All.

Now people with disabilities are also able to make use of the Uber system and will be transported in wheelchair-accessible vehicles (WAVs) by drivers who have received disability equality training from Transport for All and Inclusion London.

Vehicles are large enough to accommodate a person in a standard reference size wheelchair. They are equipped with a rear-entry ramp, winch and restraints, enabling a wheelchair user to ride safely and comfortably with one additional passenger. The minimum internal space encompasses a height of 1377 mm, width 783 mm and length 1320 mm. If your wheelchair is much larger, you can email supportuk@uber.com for more information.

Here’s how to request the service:

  1. Download the Uber app and create your account.
  2. Choose the ‘UberWAV’ option on the slider at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Place the pin at your pickup location – make sure it’s somewhere safe for your driver to stop the car.
  4. Tap the “Set pickup location” bar. You’ll be asked to confirm your wish to request a wheelchair-accessible car.
  5. Tap “Request UberWAV”.
  6. Once your request is confirmed, your driver will be on the way to collect you. You can get in touch at any point by sliding the block with the driver’s details upwards and tapping “Contact”.

This is a great facility in an international city that already offers top-class public and private transport. So what about here at home? A “little birdie” has been whispering in my ear that there are current discussions with Uber South Africa to look into this option for our country … so watch this space!

Happy travels.


Mandy Latimore is a consultant in the disability sector in the fields of travel and access. email: mandy@noveltravel.co.za

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