Lawsuits target ridesharing and cab companies operating in Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ridesharing and cab companies were the target of several lawsuits meant to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Texas Civil Rights Project filed more than 30 lawsuits across the state, including ones against Uber, Lyft and Yellow Cab. Advocates say the companies do not do enough to get wheelchair accessible vehicles to the people who need them.

“For years we’ve been fighting this fight with Yellow Cab to get more wheelchair accessible cabs,” said David Wittie with ADAPT. “They have wheelchair accessible cabs but it’s so hard to get them when you call for them.”

Yellow Cab responded saying they have sought additional permits in Austin dedicated to wheelchair accessible vehicles. A company spokesperson also said Yellow Cab “enthusiastically supports stronger ordinances and reasonable means of enforcement to assure that all persons with disabilities receive equivalent transportation services.”

“Uber and Lyft are the new kids on the block in terms of transportation companies, but they are socially irresponsible and have disregarded the requirement to make their system accessible and equivalent for people with disabilities,” Wittie added.

A spokesperson for Uber said they had not seen the complaint, but said the company’s technology increases transportation access for everyone, including those with disabilities.

Other lawsuits were filed against condominiums, nightclubs and even hospitals.

These lawsuits are meant to coincide with the 24th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act. That law led to everything from workplace protections to handicap parking spaces.

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