Uber, Lyft to help MBTA transport disabled passengers

BOSTON (AP) – The Boston-area transit system is turning to ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft to help provide service to disabled customers.

The pilot program announced on Friday is designed to supplement and defray the costs of The Ride, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s paratransit service.

Using a smartphone, disabled riders can hail an Uber or Lyft driver and pay the first $2 of the trip. The MBTA would pick up the next $13 of the trip with the passenger paying any remaining costs.

Paratransit service is required under the Americans with Disabilities Act and costs U.S. transit systems more than $5 billion per year. That has led several cities to explore agreements with ride-hailing companies.

Some advocates for the disabled have expressed reservations, noting Uber and Lyft have themselves faced criticism over accessibility.

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