Uber settles US lawsuit over ‘waiting fees’ for disabled passengers

Uber will offer millions of dollars in compensation to tens of thousands of passengers with disabilities who were charged additional fees, U.S. prosecutors announced Monday.

The case brought by the US Department of Justice involved disabled passengers who should have paid waiting fees because they needed more time to board the vehicles.

As part of the settlement, Uber will issue credits to more than 65,000 eligible riders that are worth double the amount of wait time fees they were charged, which could potentially amount to millions of dollars.

The ride-sharing company also agreed to pay more than $1.7 million to riders who complained to Uber about the charges, and $500,000 to others involved.

“People with disabilities shouldn’t feel like second-class citizens or punished because of their disability, which is exactly what Uber’s wait time fee policy has done,” the attorney general said. assistant Kristen Clarke.

Uber said it was “satisfied” with the settlement.

“Before this case was filed, we made changes so that any passenger who shared the fact that they have a disability would automatically have the waiting fee waived,” the company said.

Uber charges a fee if a driver has to wait more than two minutes to pick up a passenger, but the Justice Department said applying the fee to passengers with disabilities amounts to unlawful discrimination.

Under the terms of a two-year agreement, Uber will continue to waive wait time fees for passengers who need more time to board due to a disability, and will ensure refunds are made easy. available in case those fees are incorrectly charged, prosecutors said.

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Earnest L. Veasey