Uber is reaching out to senior citizens and those who have special needs or disabilities by piloting a new riding option that offers them ease of access and movement.

uberASSIST offers a safe and reliable option for these underserved riders that are not as mobile and able to move around their city as others.

“At Uber, we strive to provide convenient options that fit everyone’s needs. uberASSIST is currently piloting in Cape Town for us to gather necessary data, understand how best it can work and understand who uberASSIST is adequately able to cater for,” said Alon Lits, General Manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa.

The company hopes uberASSIST will be an affordable alternative for those with access challenges.

To launch uberASSIST, Uber partnered with DGMT, a private foundation which supports initiatives that aim to bring about dynamic and fundamental impact to the lives of people in South Africa.

Only the top rated driver-partners have been invited to be part of the pilot. All drivers on the uberASSIST view completed a disability equality course reviewed and supported by DGMT’s Inclusive and Innovative Society portfolio. This course provided the necessary knowledge and safety requirements driver-partners need when assisting people with different accessibility needs.

“When requesting a ride, special needs riders can contact the uberASSIST driver-partner ahead of time to inform them of any unique requirements. Like all ride options Uber offers, UberASSIST riders will also be asked to rate every trip, this is an important tool to ensure drivers receive valuable feedback about their involvement in the uberASSIST programme to better their business offering,” Uber said.

Guide dogs are welcome in uberASSIST vehicles.

“Our hope is that this partnership with Uber, will expand options for riders with special access needs, facilitating greater social inclusion for South Africans,” said Renisha Patel, Innovation Manager at DGMT.

How to access uberASSIST in Cape Town?

1. Riders will need to open the Uber app
2. Enter in the destination required
3. Swipe left on the app and select uberASSIST
4. Confirm pick-up location and request a ride