French Start-Up Introduces ‘Uber’ Paradigm for Wheelchair Users

Wheeliz offers car service option for wheelchair users

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Not too long ago, we wrote a piece about the criticism that Uber and other similar services are receiving from wheelchair users and advocates for those with disabilities who claim these service providers do not offer enough options for those with mobility challenges. As the lawsuits against the companies get hashed out in court, French start-up Wheeliz  may have created a solution to this conundrum.

Launched in 2014, Wheeliz is a Paris-based start-up that connects owners of wheelchair-accessible vehicles with individuals looking to rent them. Through the service, vehicle owners can list their vehicles for rent within a recommended price range of $56-$66 per day. Wheeliz also provides insurance while taking a 30 percent commission. According to the company’s website, that rate is about half as expensive as the cost of going through a traditional rental company. As a bonus, the company also offers to refund the difference if users are able to find a better price elsewhere.

The business is off to a strong start and has 120 cars listed and 900 users registered. The CEO, who started the company after she discovered how expensive wheelchair-accessible rental cars were on a trip to Florida, says that she hopes to expand internationally soon. Currently, the service is available in just a few French cities. The company is also considering hiring drivers and launching an app in the future.

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