CHELSEA, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A disabled couple says that multiple Uber drivers refused to pick them up for rides because they had their service dog with them.
Sarah Wiles of Chelsea is blind and uses Atlas, a guide dog, to get around. Wiles' boyfriend Benjamin Chase is also visually impaired.
The couple had finished grocery shopping at Market Basket in Chelsea Friday evening when they ordered an Uber. They say that a driver approached the couple, then canceled when learning that Atlas would be coming along for the ride. This happened three more times before the couple wound up getting a Lyft, who did accommodate.
Wiles and Chase filed a complaint with Uber over the incident. Uber responded by taking action against the four drivers, waiving Wiles' ride fees, and giving her an Uber credit, but Wiles is looking for something more permanent.
"I think once the drivers fully understand the importance of service animals and the role that they play for persons with disabilities, I think then that's when real change can happen," Wiles told WBZ.
In a statement, Uber said that the "drivers who use the Uber app agree to accommodate riders with service animals and comply with their independent obligations under accessibility laws."
WBZ's Jim MacKay (@JimMacKayOnAir) reports.