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What Is Uber Assist And How Does It Work?

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People who have physical disabilities, have visual impairments, or need additional assistance due to age may feel like a ridesharing app like Uber is not for them.

However, some apps have found a way to provide ridesharing services to everyone and make this convenient way of taking trips more accessible and accommodating.

Uber Assist, created by Uber, does just that.

Through the Uber Assist program, people with impairments, ailments, pregnancy, illness, or injury can seize the opportunity to receive assistance before and after their Uber ride.

This article will discuss what exactly Uber Assist entails and how this service option works for people who require additional support when taking an Uber.

What Is Uber Assist?

Uber Assist is a service that Uber riders can take advantage of if they need extra assistance.

These riders will match with trained and certified Uber Assist drivers through a third party to help people with disabilities, people with visual impairment issues and older adults get in and out of their Uber rides.

This service may also be helpful for pregnant women, sick people, or injured people.

Uber Assist also helps ensure that riders in need of extra assistance arrive safely to their chosen destination.

This is a popular option among users of Uber Health, since transporting patients to and from doctor’s appointments is oftentimes a larger issue among the demographic of older riders.

What Does “Assist” Mean on Uber?

Uber uses the term assist to mean helping another person enter and exit a vehicle in a safe and supportive manner.

If you see the option to choose “Assist,” you can select it and get matched with an Uber driver who can assist you with the ride.

Notable Features of Uber Assist Vehicles

Uber assist vehicles primarily come with top-rated drivers that have training and have received third-party certification to assist with riders who need additional support.

These drivers have oftentimes far surpassed the Uber driver requirements and are among the best in their class.

The other notable feature of an Uber Assist vehicle is that it has room for foldable or disassembled assistive devices, such as wheelchairs and walkers.

There is no specific vehicle requirement; however, Uber Assist drivers know to leave room in their backseat and trunk for this service.

Any Uber Assist vehicle prevents discrimination based on ability, which means everybody can be a rider no matter what.

How Does Uber Assist Work?

Uber Assist, which is only available in certain cities, works by letting riders choose the Assist option when selecting their ride.

Once riders match with an Uber Assist driver, they can feel rest assured that they will get the additional support they need to enter and exit their vehicle.

Uber Assist drivers have trained to provide this support safely and will ensure door-to-door service for people who need help due to mobility, visual, or other impairments.

Where Is Uber Assist Available?

There are currently 40 cities around the world where Uber Assist is available to use.

In the United States, Uber Assist is currently available in some major cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and New York.

You can see what particular ride options are available in your city here.

Does Uber Assist Cost More Than Other Uber Services?

No. Despite the additional support and the limited number of Uber Assist drivers, Uber Assist will cost the same as UberX, which is Uber’s standard vehicle service.

What Is the Difference Between Uber Assist and UberWAV?

Uber Assist is primarily focused on lending extra support to riders who need help entering and exiting the vehicle and making their way to and from the car and their destination.

On the other hand, UberWAV is an option that includes wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

This specifically ensures that Uber riders who are in motorized wheelchairs get access to vehicles with lifts and ramps.

Riders with wheelchairs that are not motorized but do not fold may also find UberWAV to be the more promising option for them.

Both of these services can support people in wheelchairs. Uber Assist riders simply might not have a lift or a ramp.

Though, they will need to have enough space to accommodate foldable wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, collapsible scooters, etc.

Neither of these services will cost the rider more to use than UberX.

However, both of these types of rides may have longer wait times, as there are typically fewer drivers with training to become Uber Assist or UberWAV drivers.

What Is the Difference Between UberX and Uber Assist?

UberX is the standard vehicle that riders can select when using Uber.

UberX drivers may be able to help someone in need of extra assistance enter and exit the vehicle, but it is not guaranteed.

Uber Assist, on the other hand, guarantees that the rider will receive a driver with training to help them safely enter and exit the vehicle.

Because there is additional support, an Uber Assist ride would cost a little more than an UberX ride would cost for the same trip.

How To Get Uber Assist

vector graphic showing an uber assist driver leading a passenger to an uber assist vehicle with text over top that explains what the service is

You can automatically use Uber Assist if you use the app in a city where Uber Assist is available, such as San Francisco.

To use Uber Assist in one of these cities, you would simply use Uber like you usually would:

Open the app to the home screen, or download the app if you do not already have Uber.

Then, select “Ride” and type in your current location and destination.

Once you have confirmed the destination, you will see options for which type of ride you want, typically starting with UberX.

Scroll down to see other options, and you’ll eventually see Uber Assist.

Select that option and confirm your ride.

In some cities, a promo code is necessary for using Uber Assist.

As with all Uber rides, it is crucial to make sure you get into the right car by confirming that the make, model, and license plate displayed on the Uber app matches the car that you get into.

Something to note about the Uber Assist service is that if you request and cancel too many Assist rides, Uber may take that option away from you.

How To Get Help with Uber Assist

You can find out more and get help with Uber Assist by visiting help.uber.com, where they discuss the Assist program, or within the Uber app using the menu bar.

If you need to ask a specific question regarding one of your Uber Assist trips, you can submit your question through one of the articles on the help page, and it will go directly to Uber’s 24/7 support team.

From there, you will receive a notification through your app and an email addressing your question within 24 hours.

You can find the message in the Help section under Support messages on the app.

Does Uber Assist Have a Phone Number?

Uber does not have a designated phone number specifically for Uber Assist.

However, they have a 24/7 support line you can contact at 800-593-7069 for general customer service.  

For a serious concern or emergency situation, you can also contact their Critical Safety Response Number at 800-285-6172.

How Can I Get Help with Uber Assist?

Uber has a 24/7 support team you can submit questions to if you would prefer not to call using the phone number above.

You have to sign in to your Uber account to receive help.

 For more help, you can see answers to frequently asked questions regarding Uber Assist on Uber’s website.

How To Become an Uber Assist Driver

vector graphic showing a clipboard with Uber car requirements on it and an Uber vehicle behind it getting evaluated

The most common reason Uber drivers wish to become Uber Assist drivers is to help others, whether they’re disabled, elderly, pregnant, injured, or otherwise in need of extra support.

People feel good when they are doing good for others.

And you don’t need to worry too much about safety as an Uber Assist driver because although people expect you to provide door-to-door service, you do not need to provide door-to-frame assistance.

In other words, Uber does not require you to bring someone inside their home or into a doctor’s office.

You are only required to help them get to the door.

It is up to you as the driver to determine your comfort levels in assisting an Uber Assist passenger any further than what the program requires from you.

To become an Uber Assist driver, a driver has to complete at least 100 trips to demonstrate that s/he is a safe, experienced driver.

They also must have at least a 4.8 star rating.

Uber will then send a driver interested in the Assist program an email and text message inviting the driver to an Assist information session.

From there, they will be able to decide whether they want to join the program and complete third-party certification.

Learn More: Uber Driver Ratings

Wrapping Up

In addition to cashless payment, service animal policies, and anti-discrimination policies, Uber has made its accessibility a significant priority by creating the Uber Assist program.

Uber Assist makes it easier for riders with impaired mobility, faulty vision, and other physical concerns to safely use the ridesharing service.

If you or someone you know has been hesitant to use Uber due to a physical ailment or concern, don’t hesitate to check Uber Assist, it may change their minds with just a few clicks.

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