RideAustin Turns TNC Lemons into Lemonade
Joshua Baer

Ride-Hailing Providers: Here are 5-Steps for Getting it Right …for Everyone.

Businessman in a wheelchair hailing a ride service.

As a person with multiple disabilities, I know how important accessibility is to me and my community. All ride-hailing companies must demonstrate a commitment to providing EQUIVALENT SERVICE to people with disabilities. Let me be clear, equitable service delivery refers to equivalence in terms of hours of operation and equivalency in terms of response time.

Equivalent Service Means…

  1. If a consumer with a disability requires ride-hailing services late at night, he/she should be able to gain access to services in the same manner and during the same hours of operation for consumers without disabilities.
  2. People with disabilities have the same right as all other people to live a spontaneous life. If a person with a disability requires transportation to a location immediately -or- would like to go to a movie with friends on a whim, he/she has the right to do so and should be able to access and receive ride-hailing service within an equitable time comparable to the time it takes for those living without disabilities that the same service(s).

5-Steps for Getting It Right

STEP ONE: Include an equity and inclusion statement in the Vision and Mission of the organization. Foster a culture of equity and inclusion by ensuring that all policies, programs, and practices guarantee equitable service delivery to all ride-hailing consumers.

STEP TWO: Engage the disability community in the planning and development of services. That is the only effective way to leverage the diversity of perspectives, and the knowledge demanded and required to understand correctly all of the issues-at-hand that may affect (positively or negatively) service delivery to the disability community.

STEP THREE: Develop and implement a robust communications plan that includes strategies that encourage the disability community to serve on advisory and stakeholder committees, planning and development boards and quality assurance teams. Ride-hailing companies that came before failed to take this important measure. As we all know, that failure cost businesses millions of dollars and devoured the reputation and respect of each provider.

STEP FOUR: Take active steps to remove barriers and promote inclusion. It is vital can to incorporate equity and inclusion within all aspects of development and operations. Include equity and inclusion at the forefront of all planning and development. Doing so is the only way to be properly prepared to address the needs of the populations your new organization intends to serve.

STEP FIVE: Use an Equity Lens to measure all programs, practices, and policies. Here’s how to focus that lens, ask these 3 — simple questions and you will be on your way to successful service delivery and reaping the rewards only given to companies that value and ensure service to all residents. Ask these questions always, it is not a one-time review or process:

  1. Who is not included in the activity or service being developed/deployed?
  2. What are the contributing factors to this exclusion?
  3. What can be done differently to ensure inclusion?
Building a Culture of Access and Inclusion

Darren Bates is a lifelong champion of equality, inclusion, and social justice for people with disabilities and other diverse, underrepresented, and historically marginalized populations. Darren is internationally recognized as one of the most innovative and knowledgeable Thought Leaders in the field of Global Inclusion.

Darren offers accessibility and inclusion training, strategic consulting, and professional speaking services through Darren Bates, LLC.

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