What is Wheel2Ride

A Project of the Determined2Heal Foundation

Wheel2Ride is an advocacy campaign focused specifically on ridesharing companies.

This business platform is also referred to as Transportation Network Providers (TNPs), Transportation Network Operators (TNOs), or Transportation Network Companies (TNCs). This type of service provides pre arranged transportation services for compensation through an Internet-enabled application or digital platform to connect passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire. I.e., Uber, Lyft, Via, etc.

Wheel2Ride’s objective is to create a conduit for advocacy, education and discussion directed towards policy changes regarding the inclusion of individuals with mobility disabilities in using ride sharing platforms.

Our Mission

To improve the accessibility of rideshare platforms for persons with mobility disabilities through advocacy and education.

Our Vision

  • Create a coalition of advocates across the United States to educate and advocate, at the local, state and national levels, for accessible rideshare platforms with the goal of having accessible rideshare platforms for individuals with mobility disabilities in every market (with comparable wait times) where a TNP exists.
  • Obtain/Create qualitative and quantitative data related to the experiences of individuals with mobility disabilities with rideshare platforms and access to the rideshare market, including analysis of the discrimination experienced by individuals with mobility disabilities when obtaining a ride as well as analysis of availability of wheelchair accessible vehicles through rideshare platforms.
  • Create shareable content for social media and other media platforms that discusses the importance of accessibility in the rideshare economy and how persons with mobility disabilities benefit from access to this business market.
  • Advocate for the availability of wheelchair accessible vehicles, in comparable time margins to those using traditional rideshare cars, on rideshare platforms.
  • Advocate for changes in policies, ordinances, and laws at the local, state and national levels requiring TNPs provide full access to individuals with mobility disabilities.
  • Encourage and promote businesses that create accessible rideshare platforms.

The Back Story

Kelley Simoneauxr is a 34 year old lawyer and mother of two living in the Washington D.C. area. She also uses a wheelchair for mobility following a car wreck that caused a spinal cord injury in 2001. One evening, following dinner with a friend, Kelley requested a ride home on her Uber app. A driver arrived about 5 minutes later in a minivan. He did not exit the vehicle. Instead, an employee at the hotel Kelley was leaving, opened the front door of the Uber van where she could independently transfer into the front seat and asked if he could help place the wheelchair in the trunk. Kelley graciously accepted, but before the valet could roll her chair to the trunk area, the driver looked up, jumped out of the van, and said he could not put the wheelchair the van. The driver refused to allow the wheelchair in his van stating there was no room. Surprised, Kelley explained that her wheelchair was lightweight and could easily be broken down to the size of a small suitcase. He refused Kelley a ride that night solely based on her using a wheelchair (while charging her for a fake ride he created after leaving her on the side of the road).

Shocked by this encounter, Kelley began surveying the depth of this issue, and unfortunately found that this type of practice was happening with alarming frequency across the United States. Individuals with mobility disabilities are literally being left on the curb by Transportation Network Providers (TNPs), more commonly known as ride shares.

Moreover, Kelley’s personal experience of being denied a ride does not even account for the many individuals with a mobility disability who have never been able to use TNPs at all based on a lack of wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs). As the gig economy, fueled largely by ride shares, continues to take an overwhelming stake in transportation market, Wheel2Ride was created to provide a voice for the mobility disability community in pushing for meaningful change that will result in greater access to rideshare platform.

Contact Us

If you have any questions and would like to get more involved with the Wheel2Ride campaign please contact Kelley.

Kelley Simoneaux
(202) 507-9180