A passenger in a car summoned by an app.

Getty Images

'Wheelchair Tax' Could Raise Prices For Uber And Lyft Riders

Disability Advocates Say 5-Cent Surcharge Should be Higher

Matt Bigler
May 31, 2019 - 9:47 am

State regulators have proposed doubling a planned fee for Uber and Lyft trips from five to 10 cents per ride.

The money from the fee would fund California’s new ride-hail services for wheelchair users, which Uber and Lyft don't currently offer in any meaningful way.

Uber has only recently begun to offer some wheelchair service, but it has been criticized as being in its early stages.

Lack of service has left many wheelchair users at the curb, unable to enjoy these app-based transportation services as the able-bodied community does.

The proposed fees, which are required to go into effect by July 1, have yet to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. The commission may hear the matter June 27.

Related: SFO Rideshare Pickups Moving To Domestic Parking Lot

Disability advocates have argued that the fee should be higher at 50 cents per ride. 

Locally, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency also isn’t a fan of the 10-cent fee, calling instead for it to be 15 cents per ride. 

Uber and Lyft have previously shown an openness toward a tax on individual rides in San Francisco.