Uber WAV: What Is It and How Does It Work? + Cities

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uber wav

Uber is arguably the most popular ride sharing company . It is currently available in more than 700 cities worldwide.

Uber is an affordable way for people to get from point A to Point B and offers a variety of service level options that range from the cheaper Uber Pool, to the economy rides Uber X and Uber Comfort all the way to pricier luxury rides .

But does Uber have wheelchair accessible cars?

If you're looking for a wheelchair accessible ride, Uber WAV is the perfect choice. In this guide, we'll provide everything you need to know about UberWAV: from how it works to what you can expect as a rider or driver.

We'll also provide some helpful reviews from people who have used the wheelchair accessible Uber service. So whether you're looking to use Uber wheelchair vans yourself or become a driver, keep reading this article for all the information you need!

1. What is Uber WAV

Uber WAV is a service from Uber that provides wheelchair accessible rides.

The program was launched in 2014, and the Uber fleet now includes wheelchair-friendly vehicles, such as vans.

Uber WAV vehicles are equipped with ramps or lifts, and all drivers have undergone special training to provide assistance to riders who need it.

This dedicated service allows people with disabilities or handicaps to benefit from a reliable, safe and adapted transport solution, both on immediate demand and in advance.

Indeed, very similarly to the other Uber services, you can schedule your WAV Uber ride in advance.

2. What is The Uber Wheelchair Policy?

The Uber policy is pretty clear: “Riders who use folding wheelchairs can request a ride in all other options available through the Uber app. Drivers are expected to accommodate riders using walkers, canes, folding wheelchairs, or other assistive devices.”

What does it mean? You will read on some untrustful website that if you have crutches you have to book a wheelchair accessible van ride. This is not true in any way.

Riders using a foldable wheelchair or mobility device including crutches that fit in the trunk of a standard sedan can book rides through the Uber app.

Our suggestion would be to book an UberXL ride.

3. Curiosity: What Does WAV Mean?

If you want to find out what WAV means you are at the right place. You probably have already seen WAV files. The WAVeform audio file format is a digital audio format.

However on the Uber platform WAV stands for Wheelchair Assistance Vehicle.

4. How Does Uber WAV Works?

You do not need a WAV app. An Uber ride can be requested in a web browser on your phone, tablet, or laptop.

Wheelchair users can request WAV cars through the Uber web page or the same app they use to request a regular Uber ride - just open the app, select your drop off location, confirm your pickup location and select the 'WAV' option at the bottom of your screen when you're requesting a ride.

Drivers will be notified if there is a request nearby. Riders can expect to pay a little bit more for an Uber WAV than they would for a regular Uber ride.

5. Advantages And Disadvantages Of Uber WAV

Easy to Use

Once upon a time, if you needed a ride, you would probably find yourself standing on the street trying to catch a cab or calling a taxi company for a ride.

The good news is that you do not need a wav app. The Uber app makes things a lot easier and simpler. The only thing you need is a smartphone Android or iPhone and to download the Uber app.


Safety is a priority for the wheelchair ride service, all rideshare drivers must undergo a background check process . Additionally all the vehicles on the platform must pass a yearly vehicle inspection.

With the Uber training program, drivers learn all the skills necessary to provide safe traveling for passengers in wheelchairs and to help the passengers with handicap.

Payment Method

Uber is so convenient because it provides a cashless experience.

If you are new to the rideshare platform and do not know how it works, after creating an account, you need to add a payment method such as a card to be able to book a ride.

When the drive ends, your preferred payment method will be charged with the total amount of the rides on top of additional tips.

Uber automatically sends the receipt of the ride to the email connected with your Uber account. You do not need cash, the driver does not need change.

Cancellation Policy

When it comes to the downsides of the service, the first thing that comes to my mind is the Uber cancellation policy.

In 2021, the Department of Justice sued Uber, alleging that it had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The ADA "prohibits discrimination based on disability by a private entity that is primarily engaged in the business of transporting people and whose operations affect commerce."

In 2016, Uber instituted a per-minute waiting fee . According to Uber terms and conditions, passengers can be charged more if the time it took between the car’s arrival and the ride to start exceeded two minutes or higher.

The driver does not have discretion when starting the two-minute clock; the clock starts when GPS determines that the driver has arrived at the specified pick-up location. The main concern is that passengers who have disabilities might need more than those two minutes that are allotted. This is because they might have to deal with wheelchairs, scooters, motorized wheelchairs, walkers, or other gear.

6. Where is Uber WAV Available?

UberWAV is expanding really fast across the country.

In California, for example, the CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) is reducing the fees that ride-hailing companies have to pay into the Access for All Fund in exchange for improved levels of service for people who need WAVs.

This is a positive step for ride-hailing companies and will hopefully improve service for people who need WAVs.

In order to qualify for these incentives, ride-hailing companies must provide riders who need wheelchair access with progressively shorter wait times and make more WAVs and qualified drivers available over time.

The goal is to make WAVs available to all riders in the company’s service area.

The CPUC has decided that ride-hailing companies who wish to qualify for extra money from the access for All Fund must meet higher standards of service and improve WAV services by training their drivers and inspecting their vehicles.

Rideshare companies should also show more WAV trips from one quarter to the next, but it did not set a baseline level or a specific number by which companies will need to increase access; they simply need to improve.

So where is the Uber wheelchair accessible program currently available?

Find below a comprehensive list of the principal Uber WAV Cities.

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Dallas, TX
  • Denver, CO
  • Houston, TX
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Kansas City, KS
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Miami, FL
  • Nashville, TN
  • New York City
  • Orlando, FL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Portland, OR
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • San Antonio, TX
  • San Diego, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Washington D.C.

Are Wheelchair Accessible Uber Available Outside of the United States?

Yes, you can book an Uber accessible ride in other countries including, but not only:

  • Bangalore - India
  • London -UK
  • Newcastle - Australia

How Much Does Uber WAV Cost?

Wheelchair Uber rides cost the same as regular UberX rides.

The San Francisco headquartered company does not apply a surcharge to offset the costs of operating wheelchair accessible vehicles.

Uber WAV Rates

Uber rates for WAV rides are calculated like any other Uber rides and are subject to surge pricing. Keep in mind that using the Uber app you can easily know how much your next Uber WAV ride will cost. Find below a breakdown of the

  • Base rate: A flat fee charged for every ride
  • Per-minute rate: A charge for each minute of the ride
  • Per-mile rate: A charge for each mile of the ride
  • Booking fee: A variable fee to cover ‘operational costs’
  • Tools and surcharges: Passengers pay for tolls, and surcharges like airport fees

8. Driving for Uber WAV

As a driver, you can opt in to drive for Uber WAV. You will need to have a vehicle that is wheelchair accessible in order to drive for Uber WAV. When you receive a request for a wheelchair ride, you will pick up the rider and provide them with a comfortable and safe ride to their destination.

What Are The Requirements To Become An Uber WAV Driver?

In addition to the regular requirements for becoming an Uber driver, there are a few additional requirements for driving Uber for people with handicap or disabilities:

  • You must have a vehicle that is equipped with a ramp or lift.
  • You must have completed special training on how to assist riders who need wheelchair assistance to enter and exit the vehicle.
  • You must have a valid driver's license and insurance.

If you meet all of these requirements, you can sign up to drive Uber WAV through the same process you would use to sign up to drive regular Uber.

Uber is looking for drivers and offering incentives sign up using our referral link.

9. Uber WAV Reviews

"Uber WAV is a great service! It's so convenient to be able to request a wheelchair accessible ride through the Uber app. The drivers are always very accommodating and make sure that I'm comfortable during the ride. I would definitely recommend Uber WAV to anyone who needs a wheelchair accessible ride." -A.C., Uber WAV Rider

"I love being a driver for Uber WAV! It's so rewarding to be able to provide a service that helps people get around. I always make sure to take good care of my riders and help them with anything they need. If you're thinking about becoming an Uber WAV driver, I would definitely recommend it!" -J.D., Uber WAV Driver

Uber WAV vs Uber Assist: What's the Difference?

Accessibility is important for any transportation service, and Uber is committed to offering wheelchair accessible vehicles in select cities. In addition to wheelchair accessible vehicles, Uber offers other accessible services including Uber Assist and Uber Health.

But what are the differences?

Uber WAV is a wheelchair accessible riding service. Uber Assist is a service that provides assistance to riders who need help with things like getting in and out of the car, or carrying luggage.

Both services are available through the Uber app. Uber WAV rides cost the same as regular UberX rides. Uber Assist rides cost the same as regular UberX rides, but have an additional $0.50 per minute charge.

For seniors who also need a concierge service that connects them with on–demand ride services we suggest you consult our guide to GoGoGrandParent.

Other Wheelchair Transportation Services

If you are looking for wheelchair accessible rides near you, Uber and Lyft are the most affordable options.

The following apps offer several forms of transportation assistance for seniors or disabled people.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Uber Accommodate Wheelchairs?

In addition to the wheelchair accessible fleet, UberXL vehicles are also able to accommodate people with reduced mobility who are transferable or do not require a ramp.

Guide dogs for blind or disabled people and service animals are accepted in all Uber cars.

Does Lyft have wheelchair-accessible vehicles?

LyftAssist is a WAV equivalent service offered by Lyft. So, If you are a Lyft user and you need a ride that is accessible, be sure to request a LyftAssist driver.

The service is similar to UberWAV. However, the LyftAssist feature is not available in all cities, so be sure to check the Lyft app for the availability in your area.

You will be picked up by a Lyft driver in a vehicle with a wheelchair lift or ramp.

To provide Lyft and Uber handicap transportation, drivers are required to pass a third-party certification process.

The Only Disability in Life Is a Bad Attitude

Now you know that Uber is handicap accessible. People with impaired mobility are not set aside! As you can see, Uber WAV is a great option for riders and drivers who need or want to provide wheelchair accessible rides. If you're looking for a convenient, safe, and comfortable ride, then Uber WAV is the perfect choice! And if you're interested in becoming an Uber WAV driver, then we would definitely recommend it! Thanks for reading and we hope this guide was helpful.

Do you have any questions or feedback about Uber WAV? Let us know, by sending us an email! And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more information on everything about Uber!

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