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What Is Uber Assist? How It Works And What To Expect

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Key Takeaways

  • Uber Assist caters to those with mobility challenges, offering trained driver support.
  • Same cost as UberX, with no extra fees for the specialized assistance provided.
  • Limited availability, mainly in major cities, and longer wait times possible.
  • Different from Uber WAV, focusing on verbal guidance and physical support.

Getting around town can be challenging for older people and those with mobility issues. Luckily, assisted ride-hailing services like Uber Assist are there to pair you up with trained drivers who know how to lend a helping hand.

In this guide, we go over everything you need to know about Uber Assist, from what it is and how it works to its pros and cons. We also highlight the differences between Uber WAV and Assist, so stick around.

What Is Uber Assist?

Uber Assist is a specialized service that caters to individuals with mobility challenges. This includes, but isn’t limited to, older people, individuals with visual or hearing impairments, and riders traveling with service animals (different from Uber Pet).

Walkers, folding wheelchairs, foldable scooters, and crutches may all fit inside an assist vehicle. Also, the driver can help you transition from your assistive device—a wheelchair, for instance—to the vehicle, and vice versa.

Uber Assist can accommodate a total of four riders, so you can bring three other people along for the ride. Due to space constraints, however, Uber doesn’t recommend more than one rider with an assistive device per ride.

How Does Uber Assist Work?

Need an Uber Assist ride? Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Launch the Uber app and log in to your account.
  2. Enter your destination in the ‘Where to’ box.
  3. Confirm that your pickup location is correct.
  4. Select the ‘Assist’ option at the bottom.
  5. Tap ‘Confirm Assist.’

As soon as an Uber Assist driver accepts your ride request, you’ll be able to track their location relative to yours on the app’s map.

Make sure you’re getting into the right car with the right driver by checking the license plate, driver photo, and car make and model.

You can also request an Uber Assist ride for your friends or relatives if they’re unable to. All you have to do is set the pick-up location to their pick-up point and request a ride.

We also recommend getting in contact with the driver and letting them know they’ll be picking up someone else.

If you have a service animal, you can bring them along. Guide dogs, as well as other service animals trained to assist a person with a disability, can ride with Uber Assist.

The animal isn’t required to wear a tag or be registered, and the rider isn’t required to provide the driver with documentation, according to Uber’s service animal policy.

Where Is Uber Assist Available?

Uber Assist is available in just over 40 cities worldwide, so availability may vary based on your location.

The reasons are that this service’s drivers need to undergo specialized training to handle passengers with disabilities or those who need extra help, their vehicles have to accommodate mobility aids, and it’s not as demanded as UberX, for example.

However, if you happen to be in a metropolis where it’s available, rest assured that you can request a ride at any time—Uber Assist is available 24/7.

How Much Does Uber Assist Cost?

Cost-wise, an Uber Assist ride costs the same as a standard UberX ride—get a price estimate here.

Your fare will be calculated based on the time and distance of your trip, demand, and any applicable fees or surcharges. You also have the option to tip your driver, if you wish to.

You’ll be charged automatically through your default payment method, so you can exit the vehicle as soon as you arrive at your destination.

Reasons to Consider Uber Assist

Although Uber isn’t the only ride-hailing service to offer assisted rides, there are a few advantages that set Uber Assist apart, including:

  • Trained and Certified Drivers: The Uber Assist program only uses drivers who are certified by a third party and trained in assisting passengers with disabilities or extra care requirements.
  • Affordable Rides: You’d expect assisted rides to be more expensive than regular rides, but that’s not the case with Uber Assist. The pricing is pretty much the same as for UberX rides.
  • Room for Assistive Devices: If your assistive device can fit in the trunk of a typical sedan once folded or disassembled, your Uber Assist driver will help load and unload it.
  • Specialized Vehicles: Uber Assist vehicles are typically equipped with adjustable seats, grab bars, and other accessibility features that make them more comfortable for passengers.

Important Limitations to Consider

Uber Assist has only one downside, and that’s limited availability. It’s mostly available in major cities like San Francisco, Toronto, Sydney, London, and the like. This means that if you don’t live in a metropolis, chances are you won’t find many assisted rides.

Additionally, Uber Assist rides tend to have longer wait times compared to UberX, Uber Green, and other types of Uber rides. This is because the program only uses trained and certified drivers, who are few and far between.

Uber Assist vs. Uber WAV

At first glance, Uber Assist and WAV (Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle) may seem similar since they both aim to provide a convenient transportation experience for people with mobility issues. However, they differ in the level of assistance they provide.

On the one hand, Assist is designed for riders who require additional assistance when entering or exiting a vehicle. This could be anything from verbal guidance to a steady supporting arm to help with assistive devices.

On the other hand, WAV is tailored for riders who rely completely on motorized wheelchairs for mobility. The service provides wheelchair-accessible vehicles that are equipped with lifts or ramps, allowing passengers to remain in their wheelchairs throughout the ride.

A commonality between Assist and WAV is that they’re priced the same as an UberX ride, ensuring affordability for riders seeking accessible transportation options. On the flip side, however, they’re both limited in availability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Sort of Help Can I Expect From Assist Drivers?

Assist drivers can provide balance and guiding support. They’ll also help you get from door to door. What they won’t do, however, is carry the passenger or act as a caregiver in the vehicle.

Will the Driver Be Able to Fold My Assistive Device?

Yes. Uber Assist drivers know exactly how to fold wheelchairs and other assistive devices. Of course, feel free to guide the Uber driver if your assistive device requires special instructions.

Will the Driver Help Me Out of My Apartment?

Unfortunately, no. Although Uber Assist is a door-to-door service, it doesn’t extend past the front door of your home if it’s a house or a building lobby if it’s an apartment complex.

What Is the Coverage Zone for Uber Assist Rides?

The coverage of Uber Assist rides changes in real-time based on availability. You can check the app to see the closest available Assist drivers at any time. If you’re in a major metropolitan area, chances are you’ll find a driver in no time.

Wrapping Up

Uber Assist is a convenient and affordable ride-hailing service for people with mobility challenges, offering trained drivers and easily accessible vehicles.

While its availability is limited, there’s no denying that the service provides a valuable transportation option for the elderly, disabled, and those requiring extra assistance.

We hope to see Uber Assist expand to more parts of the world in the near future so that it’s easier for individuals with physical disabilities to travel independently and maintain an active lifestyle, promoting greater inclusion and accessibility in transportation.

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