Taxi-hailing firm, Uber, recently unveiled its specialised service, UberASSIST, in Nairobi, Kenya. The service provides additional assistance for members of the senior and physically challenged communities.  

According to Uber, driver-partners are specifically trained to assist riders when getting into a vehicle, and can accommodate folding wheelchairs and walkers.

UberASSIST was rolled out in Nairobi on January 3, three years after the firm introduced the service for the first time globally. Nairobi is the third city in Africa where UberASSIST has been introduced, following the launch of the service in Johannesburg and Cape Town in August 2017.

“Everyone deserves an opportunity to travel freely within their own city, and with UberASSIST, we are able to provide reliable transportation to senior citizens and riders with access needs,” says Loic Amando, General Manager of Uber in East Africa.

Uber recently hosted information sessions for over 400 driver-partners in partnership with Rescue by Flare. Uber drivers participated in a two-day information session that equipped them with the skills to better help senior riders and those with access needs. The company will continue to host further sessions for more drivers who are interested in driving on UberASSIST.

UberASSIST will be the same price as an uberX, and riders will be notified of the fare upfront. The service is easy to access, all riders have to do is open the Uber app, enter their destination, swipe left and select UberASSIST, and then confirm pick-up location and request their ride.

After requesting a ride, users can contact their UberASSIST driver-partner ahead of pick-up time with any specific requests.

UberASSIST vehicles do not have wheelchair-accessible ramps, therefore, cannot accommodate motorised wheelchairs, however they can cater for wheelchairs.