El Paso

Uber and Lyft apps for disabled El Pasoans working, police say

EL PASO, Texas - Uber is providing an app for members of the disabled community in the El Paso area.

City Council representatives had given the ride-sharing company until March 24 to show it is complying with the city's Transportation for Hire ordinance.

The action came after disabled El Pasoans filed complaints against Uber asking the company to improve its services.

City Council representatives passed the Transportation for Hire ordinance in 2016 requiring transportation companies to provide wheelchair-accessible vehicles upon request.

Council said if Uber did not comply, it could be fined. The City could also have revoked the company's permit to operate in El Paso.

Uber's website states: "We're using technology to make transportation more accessible and reliable for riders with ambulatory disabilities. We are piloting several models in various cities across the country to determine which wheelchair accessible vehicle options best meet the needs of our riders and driver-partners. These pilots range from making our technology available to wheelchair accessible taxis to providing wheelchair accessible options through partnerships with commercial providers (e.g. in New York, Houston, Chicago, London, Portland)."

Uber responded to ABC-7 in an email that stated: "Any individual who opens the Uber app in El Paso will see an in-app notification that displays a code. Users who input the code 'EPWAV' into the app will unlock a separate view call Access. Riders who input the code and use the 'Access' view in the Uber Application in El Paso will see a pop-up screen, which provides information about local wheelchair-accessible transportation service providers."

Lyft is another ride-sharing company now operating in the El Paso area. The company does have an app for members of the disabled community.

Representatives from the El Paso Police Department told Council they tested the apps from both Uber and Lyft and they are working.

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