Travelling as A Blind Uber Rider in Canada
by Jeffrey Stark
September 25th, 2016
For those who have been unsure about trying out Uber or how well it works. I want to assure you that it is a fantastic service. As a blind person, I don’t drive and therefore only have public transit, taxis and the good will of others as transport options. It is great to have other choices. Signing up was straight forward and like any other app. There is an Uber app for both iOS and Android. Both are accessible if not intuitive.
I have used Uber a dozen or so times this year. I can’t speak to guide dog access but I have had extremely excellent service every time.
There are 3 categories of Uber in Ottawa
, the city I live in:
- Uber X = standard Uber
- Uber XL = van
- Uber Assist = Uber X + someone who has received mandatory disability training and gets paid more by Uber to be helpful and accommodating (even though the customer pays the same rate of a standard Uber request / an Uber X)
To give you a sense of the cost of Uber vs Taxi service. It’s a $50-60 taxi charge to go from downtown to Kanata, it’s $24 to take an Uber there.
The process for ordering an Uber is as follows (text might not be “exact” but should be close):
- On iOS or Android load the Uber app
- Click the Uber Assist tab
- Select get estimate
- Enter your destination and select it in the search results
- Verify cost and pickup destination address
- Select request Uber
- Confirm you have a disability by selecting “confirm”
- Confirm the trip by clicking request
You will be sent at least 2 notifications, 1 right after booking that contains the time to arrival and another notification when the driver is pulling in
You may also get text messages or called if the driver has difficulty finding you
After the drive, open the app and rate the driver on a 5 point scale.
If he gets several low scores; he will lose his ability to do Uber assist.
I even did Uber when coming home from the AEBC AGM and took a bus that arrived at the downtown bus station at 3am. I ordered an Uber assist at 3am, I was at the wrong door, he called me and came out and found me, escorted me to his car and was very friendly and helpful.
I would highly recommend Uber