Disabled advocates fight Lyft's discrimination with federal lawsuit

Members of Westchester Disabled On The Move have filed a federal lawsuit against Lyft claiming the ride-share company is engaging in discriminatory practices by refusing to provide wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Dozens rallied today outside the federal courthouse in White Plains to support the lawsuit which aims to remove a blocker that prevents disabled riders from ordering a wheelchair-accessible Lyft ride across the U-S.

It was just a few months ago when Brown needed a ride home. So, he went on his phone to order a Lyft. But once he tried, Brown realized he wasn’t able to request a wheelchair accessible car outside of NYC.

It turns out that Clinton wasn’t the only person with a disability experiencing the same trouble. In fact, members of Westchester Disabled On The Move has filed a federal lawsuit against Lyft claiming the ride-share company is engaging in discriminatory practices refusing to provide wheelchair accessible vehicles.

"When drivers who have a wheelchair accessible vehicle drive out of NYC and into Westchester, Lyft blocks them from appearing as wheelchair accessible vehicles. It blocks people in wheelchairs from requesting those rides. That is fundamentally unjust," said attorney Jeremiah Frei- Pearson.


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People like Brown say this is a basic human right. One that should never even be questioned. His only hope is that he will soon be able to order a Lyft to go wherever he wants. Whenever he wants, just like everybody else. 

"All your asking for…is equality with my friends who are non-disabled. To go out and get dinner, go bowling, take my son to a baseball game," Brown said.

Lyft says in part "Lyft has a long-standing commitment to maintaining an inclusive and welcoming community." 

The company says its biggest challenge is that there is a lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles on the road and that outside of NYC, the company hasn’t been able to find a public or private entity to deliver reliable on-demand wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

FOX 5 reached out to Lyft for commentary on the lawsuit, but hasn't heard back.