Uber and Lyft Apps: How Accessible are They?

Accessibility Advocacy


I am a masters student and researcher studying transportation network companies (ie. Uber, Lyft, SideCar, etc) and accessibility in preparation for creating regulatory framework that protects and improves transportation for persons with disabilities, including blind and low-vision users.

I am interested in hearing from you all about the accessibility (or lack thereof) of the apps, specifically Uber and Lyft's apps.

- On a scale of 1-5, 1 being completely inaccessible and 5 being completely accessible, how would you rate the Uber and Lyft apps for low vision or blind users?

- What qualities makes these apps accessible to you? What qualities make them inaccessible to you?

- How could they be improved?

- If you have experience on the android apps too, I would be interested to hear how they compare in terms of accessibility with the iOS apps.

Thanks everyone!



Submitted by Troy on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I would give Uber a 5, very accessible. Everything works and all accessibility problems with the app in the past have been corrected. I would give lyft a 4, the ETA before requesting a pickup is not very accessible if at all. Last I heard Lyft was working on this issue.

Submitted by Marconius on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hi there, I'm the accessibility specialist at Lyft. I focus on end-user accessibility and voiceover functionality for iOS. I have used all of the TNC applications, and I will always defer to using Lyft.

Since we have primarily been focussing on the path from ordering a car all the way through post ride ratings, I would give with a 5. Having recently used the new version of Uber a few times, I would definitely give it a 3. In comparison, Uber just seems really clunky and tries to do too much for the user and I have constantly struggled with the new interface.

Naturally, I am biased towards the company I work for, but after using TNC's constantly for the past two years, I can honestly say that the experience with Lyft is much better than what Uber provides. I really miss sidecar, however, as they were immediately accessible while both Lyft and Uber had their share of voiceover problems. Passenger experience will change depending on what market you are in, but if you're in San Francisco, Lyft is much more accessible.

Submitted by Marconius on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

In reply to by Troy

In the latest version of Lyft, when you open up the Ride Chooser to select either a Line, Lyft, or Plus ride, when you swipe the VO cursor to one of the modes, it will give you a quick explanation of what type of ride it is followed by the closest ETA Of the nearest car providing that particular service.

Submitted by Marc on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The best way to collect information would be to search this site and read all of the previous threads. This topic has been discussed many, many times.

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Give the latest version of Uber a try. Where I am, we have Uber x, which is the standard car, max size 4 people, and Uber xl which allows up to 6 people. If you're not sure what that means within the app, you can double tap on each of the elements either Uber x, or Uber xl and if you swipe over a bit, it'll explain the max number of people. Also in the latest version, you can get the fare estiment right when you tap on the request button. for example, if you're using uber x, the button says, request uber x, paying 5 dollars/7, button. or whatever the fare might be. in my book, Uber's app is now 100 percent accessible to VoiceOver users. The only thing we're unable to do reliably is to indicate on the map where we are, and that makes sense that we wouldn't be able to do that.

Thanks for the comment Toonhead, this is helpful.
If you cannot reliably use the pin drop to show your location, is it a straight forward process otherwise indicate your location? Do you do this by typing in your address to the map field?

Thanks for the comments Marconius.

I am curious as to how the user experience in the app would change based on geography?
Shouldn't the app work the same way and have the same interface in San Francisco as it does in St. Paul as it does Atlanta? I understand vehicle types may differ between cities, but can you help me understand in what way does the app works differently based on geography?

No problem at all, you're welcome. As with Uber and other TNC's, the offered ride modes change depending on what market you are in, Such as Line and UberPool aren't offered in every city Or locale either due to geographic limitations or state law and regulations. The only difference here is the offering of ride sharing where your ride would combine with another passengers ride rather than being your own personal solo transport. Other than that, everything else about the app is exactly the same no matter where you are.

The X ternal passenger experience with change as well as you noted, cars offered in different cities might change, and state law regarding onboarding procedures may change resulting in different qualities of drivers. Lyft has a very consistent on boarding and driver sign-up process that also includes a final mentoring program from a lift employee to make sure they follow all standard driver procedures. On the other hand, Uber just got nailed with a massive lawsuit from California for having extremely poor onboarding practiceS and background check safety requirements that did not comply with CPUC regulation. The experience extends further than just the application, and Lyft has really been working on the entire experience.

Submitted by MarkSARCH on Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hi I am LYFT user
most all the time use LYFT in California Counties.
To those people who most of the time start talking specially about how bad the apps are without try the apps.
Please do not give those comments.
I use LYFT and there not problem it all talking about how accessible is the app using voiceOver, the estimated time works just fine perfect and all the menu and more.
The only issue I saw today earlier is when you want to correct the pick up location.
when you are on the second screen after hit request LYFT the screen always go the main screen side the app Marconius try fix this issue.
Its not like getting out from the app to the home screen of the iPhone is only like getting back to the previous screen in the same app.
when you want to correct the pick location right away after open the app works just fine however after passing this screen and you decided correct location is when gets this issue.
Over all is very accessible
I will give 5 stars.

Submitted by Marconius on Thursday, April 14, 2016

In reply to by MarkSARCH

Thanks for the input! Just tried this out and I am experiencing the same confirmed issue. Logged and added to the queue of things to be fixed.