Uber adds paratransit vehicles to service in Philly

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 (Image via blog.uber.com)

(Image via blog.uber.com)

The online car service Uber is adding wheelchair-accessible vehicles to its fleet.

The move by Uber, a car service that riders hail via a smartphone app, could make getting around in Philadelphia a lot easier for an underserved group.

With only eight wheelchair-accessible cabs on Philadelphia streets, the service is pairing up with paratransit companies to offer the convenience, said Jon Feldman, Uber general manager.

“As we looked into it, we found there was a large supply of paratransit vehicles here in the city that are often sitting idle and a large community of people looking for rides and the current options were limited and inconvenient,” he said. “So we realized this was a perfect use of the Uber technology where we connect riders to drivers.”

The fares for the wheelchair-accessible vehicles are similar to those for the company’s existing car service, starting at $12.

“The base one will have room for one rider in a wheelchair and three additional seats, and that will be comparable to our sedan pricing,” Feldman said.

A spokesman for the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which regulates taxis in the city, says the agency is working to add 45 new wheelchair-accessible cabs this year.

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