Judge Richard Seeborg of California has ruled that Uber is not required to provide wheelchair-accessible rides in every market that it operates in. Seeborg reportedly argued that providing such rides would be too costly for the company and the plaintiffs failed to provide sufficient evidence that Uber violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Furthermore, Seeborg reportedly claimed that wait times would remain incredibly long for non-abled-bodies passengers if Uber were to institute wheelchair-accessible rides in each market.
Prior to making its way to California, the lawsuit against the popular rideshare company kicked off in the southeast. Two plaintiffs in New Orleans and a resident of Jackson, Mississippi named Scott Crawford claimed that they found it difficult to use the app due to its lack of wheelchair-accessible rides in their respective markets. Ultimately, they each filed lawsuits claiming that Uber had violated the ADA.
“Uber made no sincere attempt to provide accessible service, but instead claimed it was too burdensome,” Crawford told PBS.
“This could have been economically resolved years ago.”
Attorneys for Uber countered these claims by alleging that it would be too costly for these services to be implemented in every city. PBS reports that it would cost the company $800,000 per year to offer these services in New Orleans and $550,000 to offer these services in Jackson.
After a lengthy back and forth, Seeborg has made a final ruling. However, Crawford has not definitively said that he will not appeal the judge’s decision.