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Uber launches service for seniors, people with disabilities in Singapore

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Ride-booking app Uber on Thursday announced the launch of uberASSIST in Singapore, its first transportation option for seniors and people with disabilities in Asia.

RIDE-BOOKING app Uber on Thursday announced the launch of uberASSIST in Singapore, its first transportation option for seniors and people with disabilities in Asia.

uberASSIST will enable riders with accessibility needs to book a private car on demand via the Uber app.

For a start, the service will be provided by some 50 top-rated uberX drivers, who have been specially trained by local accessibility consulting firm LevelField on the necessary knowledge and safety requirements of riders with disabilities, including how to assist them into vehicles and how to engage them etc.

According to Uber, this group of commuters has in the past been often underserved by Singapore's transport network - even until today as only about 40 per cent of existing MRT stations are fitted with extra lifts to improve accessibility.

"Better and more varied transport options is an important step towards an inclusive society, (which entails) greater participation and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society," said Marissa Lee Medjeral-Mills, executive director of Disabled People's Association, a partner of uberASSIST.

Chan Park, Uber's general manager for South-east Asia, said: "At Uber, we strive to provide reliable and convenient transport options to meet everyone's needs - serving every part of the community, in every city."

With Singapore all set to host the 8th Asean Para Games in December, Uber's hope is for uberASSIST to also serve as a "reliable mobility option" to the 3,000 athletes during their time here, Mr Chan added.

uberASSIST will be offered at the same price as uberX, Uber's "most affordable" service with fares - according to San Francisco-based company - that can be up to 20 per cent lower than that of a taxi during peak hours.