What to do if Uber, Lyft cancel rides resulting from service animals

Organizations such because the Nationwide Federation of the Blind have sued ride-sharing providers for discriminating in opposition to riders who personal service animals.

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Trip-sharing providers resembling Uber and Lyft could also be a viable various to transportation for the blind or visually impaired, however for these with service animals, canceling rides is a hurdle for some.

Within the 2016 Nationwide Federation of the Blind Options, et al. v. Uber Applied sciences, Inc., Uber agreed to take proactive steps to forestall discrimination in opposition to blind riders who use information canine on its nationwide transportation community. The settlement is the primary nationwide class motion settlement in opposition to an app-based transportation firm, in keeping with the Nationwide Federation of the Blind.

The settlement requires Uber to inform its drivers that they can’t differentiate rides based mostly on service animals. The ride-sharing firm additionally stated it will take strict measures in opposition to discrimination, resembling firing drivers who violated the principles greater than as soon as.

Based on Uber’s group pointers, it’s a violation of state and federal regulation for drivers to show away individuals carrying service animals with out exception — together with for documented allergic reactions, non secular causes, or concern of animals.

Lyft additionally requires its drivers to accommodate service animals with out exception. Based on firm coverage, Lyft drivers might face speedy and everlasting suspension if an investigation into an alleged denial confirms a false denial.

What ought to I do if my journey is denied due to my service animal?

Each Uber and Lyft provide methods to report cancellations resulting from your service animal.

Reporting by way of Uber is offered within the Uber Rider app beneath the “I need to report a service animal difficulty” display, which is situated on the journey particulars display and the account menu button. Experiences will also be made by way of the “I need to report a service animal drawback” web page on the web site or by way of the “Assist” hyperlink on Uber’s web site.

To report a service animal difficulty by way of Lyft, please name the Service Animal Hotline at 1-844-554-1297 or by way of the Service Animal Grievance Kind on the corporate’s web site.

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Megan Cardona is a service journalist for Star-Telegram, overlaying coverage, authorities packages, group sources and extra to assist Tarrant County and North Texas residents perceive on a regular basis life. She graduated from the College of Texas at Arlington in 2020 and labored for the varsity newspaper for 2 years.

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