Disability rights groups battle Lyft for wheelchair accessible vehicles — again

Date Published: September 7, 2022

Lyft officials said the company is exempt from the Americans with Disabilities Act and doesn’t have to cater to people with nonfolding wheelchairs.

In 2018, Ansel Lurio found himself trapped in a snowstorm after leaving a dentist appointment in Westchester County, New York. Lurio usually rode home in his motorized wheelchair, but this time the snow made it impossible. He said the buses weren’t running and there were no paratransit vans around, so he turned to Lyft.

“If you look for accessible vehicles in Westchester, it tells you none are available,” said Lurio, 37. Lurio, who has duchenne muscular dystrophy, a progressive disease that causes the muscles to weaken and atrophy over time, said he relies heavily on his motorized wheelchair to get around. That day, he felt he had “no other choice” but to call an ambulance.  (Uber’s website says it offers nonfolding wheelchair accessible service in New York City, but not Westchester.)

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