Uber to offer free rides to the polls for wheelchair users

Ride-hailing app Uber will be offering wheelchair users free rides to and from polling stations during next Thursday’s local elections. Uber is teaming up with Whizz-Kidz, a charity which works to improve the lives of disabled children and young people, to help wheelchair users cast their votes. Rides to and from polling stations between 7am and 10pm on Thursday will be free up to £10 on the uberACCESS option which uses fully wheelchair accessible vehicles and currently operates in London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool. Existing users of uberACCESS will be given a special code to access the free rides and new users will be sent one by charities such as Whizz-Kidz. Riders will then receive two free rides up to £10. Ruth Owen, Chief Executive of Whizz-Kidz, said: “The outcome of Local Elections can have huge implications for young wheelchair users and the services they access within their local communities. Therefore it is crucial that the barriers that can prevent them from making their voices heard are removed. We’re delighted that our partner Uber are making things easier by providing free uberACCESS rides to polling stations in major cities. We hope Uber’s generous move will inspire many young wheelchair users to get out and vote on May 3.” Tom Elvidge, General Manager of Uber in the UK, said: “We’re proud to offer fully wheelchair accessible vehicles in London, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle and Liverpool through Uber ACCESS. We believe that everybody should be able to get to the polls and have their say, so we’re delighted to be working with Whizz-Kidz to offer wheelchair users free trips to and from the polls.” Michael Sani, CEO of Bite the Ballot, said: “At a time when many question how we best strengthen our democracy and ensure greater representation, this beautiful collaboration between Whizz-Kidz and Uber demonstrates the power of cross sector collaboration. Members of our communities with disabilities have been disenfranchised and marginalised for years because of access barriers preventing them the ease of going to the polls and ensuring they are active citizens. This collaboration will support people to ensure they have made their voice and opinions heard without worrying about how to do that.” 

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