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Wheelchair users' group demands TLC crackdown on Uber

An advocacy group for wheelchair users slammed Uber for “separate and unequal service” Monday and called on the Taxi and Limousine to step in and regulate.

In a letter to TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi, the United Spinal Association accused the city of “acquiescing to a multi-billion-dollar company” by failing to impose accessibility requirements on Uber and other car services, which they say amounts to discrimination against wheelchair users.

The advocacy group has twice sued the city over transit accessibility. Its trophies include the mandate that 50% of yellow taxis be wheelchair-accessible by 2020. Now it is calling for all for-hire vehicles to be accessible, a spokesman said.

That would essentially shut down Uber's New York City operation: Not a single one of Uber’s nearly 30,000 black cars is wheelchair-accessible, the company confirmed Tuesday. But Uber says its system for hailing accessible yellow and green taxis, which it calls UberWAV (for “wheelchair accessible vehicle”), is the best bet for wheelchair users.

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