Kymberly Martin

A free ride for people with disability

In an Australian first, ride-sharing company Uber has partnered with disability service providers nationally to deliver 10,000 free rides to and from vaccination appointments for people living with disability and their carers.

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Uber will give four free rides for 2,500 people living with disability, accompanied by their carers, through 12 Australian disability service providers including Able Australia, Nextt, Mind Australia and Vision Australia, with up to $20 for each trip. This will ensure participants can take a trip to and from a vaccination centre for their first and second dose. 

Uber general manager, Dom Taylor said not having access to transport should not be a barrier to vaccination. “No single entity can end this pandemic. We are all in this together, government, not-for-profits, businesses and individuals and we want to play our part,” he said. 

Able Australia CEO, Kate MacRae said more needs to be done to help those living with a disability to access vaccines safely and reliably. “This innovative program will not only directly benefit people with disability but those who provide them support and the community at large. It is a great example of what is possible when communities come together.”  

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According to National Disability Services CEO, David Moody people with disability are at greater risk of contracting Covid and face the prospect of significant illness or worse if they get it. “This is a tangible contribution to ensuring people with disability can get access to the vaccine,” he said.

Bruce Maguire, who lives with disability, said people with a disability often rely on point-to-point transport, like Uber. “This partnership means people will be able to avoid the issue of navigating locations and transport routes they may be unfamiliar with and make getting to and from their vaccinations a less stressful experience.”

The 12 disability service providers accessing the free trips nationally are Able Australia, Ability Works, Active Australia, Central Bayside Community Health Services, GenU, Mambourin, Mind Australia, Nextt, Uniting, Vision Australia, Wallara and Yooralla.    

The pilot program is scheduled to run until December 31, 2021.

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