Taxi cab company Uber has launched UberASSIST in Nairobi; a service designed to provide additional assistance for members of the senior and disabled communities.
According to a statement from the company, driver-partners are specifically trained to assist riders when getting into a vehicle, and can accommodate folding wheelchairs and walkers.
Loic Amando, General Manager of Uber in East Africa said, “Everyone deserves an opportunity to travel freely within their own city, and with UberASSIST, we are able to provide reliable transportation to senior citizens and riders with access needs.”
Uber recently hosted information sessions for over 400 driver-partners in partnership with Rescue by Flare. Uber drivers participated in a two-day information session that equipped them with the skills to better help senior riders and those with access needs.
The company says it will continue to host further sessions for more drivers who are interested in driving on UberASSIST. UberASSIST will be the same price as an uberX, and riders will be notified of the fare upfront.
Daniel Karanja a driver-partner who attended a UberAssist information session, said: “The training opened my eyes to the simple act of going from point to point, which can be an extraordinarily difficult task for those with special needs. With UberASSIST, I can see this changing quickly, and I’m honored to be a part of such a movement.”
When requesting a ride, special needs riders can contact their UberASSIST driver ahead of time to inform them of any unique requirements.
Like all ride options Uber offers, UberASSIST riders will also be asked to rate every trip, this is an important tool to ensure drivers receive valuable feedback about the service they are providing to their passengers.
UberASSIST riders will need to be able to navigate a smartphone in order to request a vehicle or have someone close by to help them. UberASSIST vehicles do not have wheelchair accessible ramps, therefore, unfortunately, cannot accommodate motorised wheelchairs, but can cater for fold up wheelchairs.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO