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DOJ Settlement Agreement with Lyft Aims to Improve
Transportation Options for Riders Who Use Mobility Devices
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Lyft, Inc., a California-based business that operates a nationwide transportation network company (TNC), have entered a voluntary settlement agreement to resolve several consumer complaints and improve services for individuals who use wheelchairs, walkers, and other mobility devices.
TNCs (also called ridesharing or ride-hailing services) offer online apps to connect passengers and drivers. DOJ asserts that the business model makes Lyft a provider of transportation services, as defined in the ADA. Lyft, however, maintains that it is does not operate a transportation service, but rather a technology service that merely enables riders to contact drivers who are independent owners/operators of vehicles for hire.
Nevertheless, Lyft agreed to make several policy changes designed to improve access to services for individuals who use foldable wheelchairs, walkers, or other mobility devices that can be easily and safely accommodated in drivers’ cars. Lyft will:
- Modify its “wheelchair policy” and improve driver education about how to accommodate passengers who use foldable mobility devices
- Implement a revised rider complaint procedure
- Provide ADA training to Lyft employees who respond to consumer issues and complaints
- Ensure that an employee continues to be designated to oversee the implementation of updated procedures
Additionally, the company will pay a total of $42,000 to four individual complainants, and a $40,000 civil penalty to the United States.