Uber Dubai, the private car hire app, said it is in talks over plans to implement a training programme that will give drivers the knowledge to better assist wheelchair-using customers.
Shaden Abdellatif, spokeswoman for Uber in Middle East and Africa, said the company was aware that those with disabilities faced problems accessing on-demand transportation and often needed extra help when using a taxi.
“At the moment, there is a limited availability of wheelchair-accessible vehicles in the UAE so we are exploring a training programme for drivers on how to treat people with disabilities coming into their cars,” she said. “It is still at the discussion stage but we are very much interested in taking this forward to make our technology as available to as many people as possible.”
Talks between Uber and Wings of Angelz woke the car hire app firm to the demand for better access to specially-outfitted cars and more training for operators of public transport.
Wings of Angelz was founded by Shobhika Kalra and her sister Ruchika Kalra, who aimed to create awareness about wheelchair accessibility and get places that are not disabled-friendly to build ramps or alternate access.
“We have managed to build 370 ramps with the help of organisations like Emaar, Sumo Sushi and RTA and got a disabled-friendly branch of Emirates NBD with their keen interest regarding the issue,” Shobhika said.
Dubai has a vision of becoming one of the world’s most disabled-friendly cities by 2020.