Ridesharing Drivers and Persons with Disabilities

ABSTRACT

Ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft, have grown to become a viable option for public transportation, especially for persons with disabilities and older adults who otherwise are unable to operate a motor vehicle. These services are often more available and cheaper than traditional transportation options such as buses and taxis. However, recent incidents involving the mistreatment of persons with disabilities and older adults have brought to light a concern about how ridesharing drivers handle the interaction of such vulnerable populations. In the current exploratory study, a sentiment analysis was performed on the comments of current and former ridesharing drivers about their encounters with persons with disabilities and older adults from the Reddit online forum website. Results show that sentiments regarding persons with disabilities and older adults were generally positive. Discussions about encounters with consumers and their service animals were generally negative, however.