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What is Uber WAV and How Does It Work?

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Are you an Uber passenger who uses a wheelchair?

Or, maybe you’re an Uber driver with access to a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

If so, then you’ll want to know about Uber WAV.

UberWAV is a program launched in late 2014 by Uber.

It provides wheelchair-accessible rides for passengers and allows Uber drivers to earn money on these types of trips.

In this article, we’ll explain how UberWAV works and give you all the information you need to take advantage of this great service.

What is Uber WAV?

Uber WAV is one of the many services offered by Uber that provides wheelchair-accessible rides for passengers.

It means that if you’re using a wheelchair and need a ride, you can request UberWAV on the Uber app.

Your driver will pick you up in a vehicle that’s specially modified to accommodate wheelchairs.

How Are Uber WAVs Equipped?

All UberWAVs come equipped with ramps or lifts to help passengers get in and out of the car.

They also have plenty of space inside for wheelchairs.

Wheelchair Ramps and Lifts

If you need help getting in and out of the car, your driver will use the ramp or lift to assist you.

Ramps are generally quicker and easier to use than lifts, but some drivers may prefer lifts because they’re more stable.

If you have a service animal, there’s no need to worry.

Your driver will happily help you get them in and out of the car, too.

Other UberWAV features include the following.

  • A spacious interior that can accommodate most wheelchairs
  • Typical types of vehicles: Chrysler Town & Country, Ford E-150, or Ford Transit Connect
  • Doorways that are at least 31.5 inches wide
  • Total number of passengers allowed: 3+
  • Lift or ramp capacity: 600+ pounds

Are WAV and Assist Vehicle Drivers Certified?


To provide wheelchair-accessible rides, UberWAV drivers must complete a training program.

This program covers everything from how to use the ramp or lift to helping passengers with disabilities get in and out of the car.

In addition, the drivers must meet Uber vehicle requirements that are specific to this type of ride.

Uber WAV and Assist Requirements

Drivers for uberWAV must have a vehicle that meets the following requirements.

  • The car must be a van or SUV with at least three rows of seating
  • The car must have a lift or ramp that can accommodate passengers in wheelchairs
  • The car must be able to transport at least three wheelchair-using passengers

Drivers receive training to understand your specific needs.

They know how to compassionately assist you with a safe trip to and from each pickup and destination address.

To request uberWAV, you must meet the following requirements.

  • You’re using a wheelchair that meets the size and weight requirements
  • Your destination is within a service area
  • There are uberWAV vehicles available in your area

Uber WAV vs Uber Assist

Uber Assist is a similar program to uberWAV.

However, it’s for passengers who don’t need a ramp or lift for their wheelchairs.

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


Both Uber services cost about the same as taking an UberX trip.

However, you won’t find as many certified drivers with the correct vehicles.

Expect to wait a little longer to get picked up by an Uber Assist or UberWav driver.

Both UberWAV and Uber Assist provide wheelchair-accessible rides for passengers.

Each service gives you a driver trained in helping people with disabilities.


UberWAV is specifically for passengers who use non-collapsible wheelchairs, while Uber Assist is for passengers who don’t need a wheelchair ramp or lift.

You can take an Uber Assist ride if you use a walker, folding wheelchair, crutches, or collapsible scooters.

You’ll need to order UberWAV when you need a driver who owns a vehicle with a lift or ramp.

Remember, WAV means “wheelchair-accessible vehicle”.

Use it if you use any type of wheelchair that the driver can’t collapse and stow in the car’s trunk.

Where is Uber WAV Available?

Of course, UberWAV doesn’t do you much good unless the company offers it where you live.

Let’s take a look at where you can find the WAV program.

vector graphic showing an Uber WAV vehicle with a wheelchair next to it

Here is a list of some cities where Uber offers the WAV service.

  • Atlanta
  • Austin
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Detroit
  • Houston
  • Indianapolis
  • Kansas City
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • Oklahoma City
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • Pittsburgh
  • Portland
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Antonio
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • St. Louis
  • Tampa
  • Washington D.C.

Is it Hard to Find Uber Wav?

If UberWAV is not yet available in your city, you can’t use the service.

However, as UberWAV expands to more cities, it will become easier to find an accessible ride.

If you’re traveling in a city where Uber does offer its WAV program, you may sometimes find it difficult to locate a qualified driver and vehicle.

The majority of Uber drivers use vehicles that don’t come equipped with a ramp or lift.

For this reason, make sure you start looking for a driver far in advance of when you need to get picked up.

Wheelchair Accessible Uber Outside of the USA

Uber is expanding its wheelchair-accessible program all over the world.

Check out these countries where uberWAV is now available.

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • New Zealand
  • United Kingdom

It’s important to note that Uber continues to open up its services to new areas all the time.

The best way to know whether UberWAV is available in your city?

Open up your Uber app and look for the WAV program.

Does Uber WAV Cost More?

You might worry that you’ll need to pay higher fees to get help from an Uber vehicle equipped with a ramp or lift.

vector graphic illustrating different elements of how much does Uber cost

Uber WAV Rates

Interestingly, you won’t pay any more for an Uber ride with WAV than you would when taking a regular UberX vehicle.

Uber doesn’t charge you any additional fees when taking UberWAV.

Open up your app, select UberWAV, and you’ll see an immediate quote on your next trip.

Suggested Read: How much does Uber cost?

How to Request an Uber WAV

Here are the step-by-step instructions for requesting an UberWAV trip on your Uber app.

1. Open the Uber app on your smartphone.

2. Tap the “UberWAV ” option on the bottom of your screen.

3. Enter your pickup location and destination.

4. Tap “Request UberWAV”.

5. Confirm your request.

6. Wait for your UberWAV driver to arrive.

Driving for Uber WAV

If you’re an Uber driver interested in using your wheelchair-accessible vehicle to earn extra money, here’s the information you need to help you get started.

vector graphic for become an uber driver post

Uber WAV Driver Certification

To drive for UberWAV, you’ll need to complete a certification process.

It includes watching a training video and taking a quiz.

Uber WAV Vehicle Requirements

To qualify as an UberWAV driver, your vehicle must meet the following requirements.

  • The car must be wheelchair accessible (ramp or lift)
  • The car must have at least four doors
  • The car must also be able to transport a folding wheelchair

Assisting Uber WAV Passengers

As an UberWAV driver, you must become familiar with how to properly assist passengers who use wheelchairs.

You should always ask the passenger how they would like to receive your assistance.

Some common ways of assisting passengers include the following.

  • Helping them into and out of the car
  • Securing their wheelchair with a seat belt
  • Helping them up steps, if necessary

Uber WAV Perks for Drivers

In addition to extra money, there are several other perks for uberWAV drivers.

These include the following.  

  • Get more trips: You can drive for both UberWAV and UberX
  • Obtain a lower service fee for all UberWAV trips
  • Provide a great service to your community

Service Animals and Uber WAV

If you’re an UberWAV driver and you’re picking up a passenger with a service animal, there are a few things you should know.

First, the law requires that drivers allow service animals to ride in their vehicles at no extra cost.

Second, service animals must remain properly restrained during the trip.

It means that a leash or carrier should help keep the animal secure.

Third, if there’s any damage caused to your car by the service animal while it’s riding in your vehicle, Uber will cover the costs.

By the way, you also must let passengers bring a service animal on all other types of Uber trips, including UberX, UberXL, and more.

Suggested Read: Learn more about the Uber pet policy.

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s likely that you still have a few more questions about how the UberWAV service works.

Let’s review those for you.

Can I Schedule a WAV Trip in Advance?

Currently, Uber doesn’t allow a passenger to use the scheduling feature with an UberWAV trip.

You’ll need to open up the Uber app when you need to hail a WAV trip.

In real-time, you’ll see if any UberWAV drivers currently exist in your area.

Give yourself extra time in case your driver needs to drive a long way to reach your pickup location.

How Do You Qualify for Uber WAV?

UberWAV is open to all Uber drivers owning a wheelchair-accessible vehicle.

Once you’ve proven to Uber that you drive the correct vehicle, you will need to watch a training video and take a quiz.

For passengers, you qualify for an UberWAV ride if you use a non-collapsible wheelchair that requires a ramp or lift to gain entry into the vehicle.

Can Uber WAV be Used for Someone With Crutches?

No, if you use crutches, you should hail an Uber driver on the Uber Assist option.

Uber Assist is Uber’s program for anyone using a collapsible wheelchair, crutches, or a small scooter.

Does Lyft Offer a WAV Equivalent?

Yes, Lyft offers a WAV equivalent service called LyftAssist.

If you need an accessible ride, be sure to request a LyftAssist driver.

The service works similarly to UberWAV.

LyftAssist isn’t available in all cities, so check your Lyft app for availability.

Lyft drivers also must drive a vehicle with a wheelchair lift or ramp.

They need to pass a third-party certification process about how to assist people with disabilities.

Alternative: Uber and WhizzKidz

WhizzKidz, located in the United Kingdom, provides mobility equipment to young people with disabilities.

The nonprofit organization also helps young wheelchair users improve their skills and find employment.

Clubs are a part of the group, too.

During the 2017 UK elections, Uber and WhizzKidz teamed up to provide young wheelchair users free rides to and from all the polling stations.

Wrapping Up

Are you excited to learn that you can take Uber rides while using your non-collapsible wheelchair?

If so, go ahead and give it a try.

Open up your Uber app, look for the UberWAV option, enter your pickup address, and activate your very first WAV trip.

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