MassDOT today announced plans to spend $2.4 million on a year-long pilot project in which it will subsidize the cost of moving people in wheelchairs around the current RIDE service area.
The goal is to try to increase the number of ride-hail cars that are equipped to handle people who get around in wheelchairs, under an existing RIDE program with Lyft and Uber.
The state will pay Uber and Lyft a fixed subsidy for each hour than one of their cars is available on their networks to people who use wheelchairs. The state estimates its subsidy will pay for half the cost of getting wheelchair-accessible vehicles into service, with the companies expected to pick up the rest.
While the one-year pilot will launch within the RIDE service area, MassDOT and the MBTA will explore similar pilot options for regions outside the service area if this pilot is deemed successful.