Global ridesharing service Uber announced today it’s launching UberAssist in Singapore. Already present in other markets, the programme currently rolling out in the city state is an option for disabled riders who need extra assistance in getting around.
Chan Park, Uber’s general manager for Southeast Asia, says Uber picked out some of Singapore’s top-rated drivers and trained them with the help of LevelField, a local company that provides consultancy on issues of urban accessibility for disabled people.
While UberAssist will not feature vehicles with special ramps or similar facilities at the moment, the drivers received training for assisting disabled riders into and out of vehicles and folding and storing their wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters for transport. Uber aims to open up the one-day training to more drivers going forward, as demand grows.
The option will show up as UberAssist in Uber’s mobile app, next to the other familiar options. Chan says UberAssist will cost about the same as UberX, the app’s most affordable service.
Starting out with a few dozen drivers who receive the training, Uber hopes to serve “thousands of riders,” according to Chan. The timing coincides with Singapore hosting the 8th ASEAN Para Games in December 3-9, with Uber preparing to serve the athletes visiting the country.
Uber is working with the Disabled People’s Association of Singapore (DPA) in order to better understand the specific needs of riders with disabilities. “Our association advocates for greater participation and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society,” says Dr Marissa Lee Medjeral-Mills, DPA’s executive director. “Better and more varied transport options is an important step towards that inclusive society.”
This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here.