Western New York disability advocates are criticizing elected officials hosting a pro-ridesharing forum.
According to current upstate ridesharing proposals, wheelchair users will not be served by Uber or Lyft.
Western NY Independent Living and the Center for Self-Advocacy are urging Buffalo lawmakers to stop ignoring concerns from wheelchair users.
The two disability advocacy groups sent a letter to State Senators Tim Kennedy and Chris Jacobs and Assemblymembers Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Michael Kearns, unhappy with their decision to exclude wheelchair users from their ridesharing forum on February 11.
The letter says Uber and Lyft discriminate against wheelchair users by failing to provide wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
"As we've said to many of you repeatedly, transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft cannot truly benefit all Western New York residents if wheelchair users are shut out and can't sue them," the letter reads. "Both of our agencies are angry and concerned over consideration of bills to allow TNC's access to upstate areas without even the most basic discussion of concerns over access to persons with disabilities."
The two groups plan on attending the forum on February 11 and making their voices heard.