Uber has dodged another regulation. Last week, news broke that Uber is getting sued … again, this time by two disabled men in Jackson, Mississippi. The plaintiffs allege that as wheelchair users they are highly independent, but rely on commercial transportation – whether public or private – to get around the city, as neither drives. They take buses. They take taxis. But they can’t take Uber, they claim, because it doesn’t offer Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs) to the half million residents of Jackson. This violates both the ADA and California disability law (where Uber is located).
From Uber to AirBNB to TaskRabbit, the gig economy presents itself as the hyper-flexible way to work, to get things done, and to find the professional services you need. Through promoting “sharing,” using other people’s property like cars and apartments or services like driving, repair skills, these companies have created broadly profitable industries that successfully dodge decades of red tape and other bureaucratic roadblocks.
Over the last three decades and more, access to public space and public infrastructure has been a major goal – and victory – for the disability rights movement. Thanks to numerous state and federal laws, all government services – from trains […]