According to the Daily Mail, Joshua Gardner of Leeds, UK, was waiting outside of his home for an Uber to take him down to the local pub to watch some soccer with his friends. When the driver pulled up, he allegedly took one look at Gardner's wheelchair - a lightweight, collapsible model - and refused the pickup. Gardner told the Daily Mail that the driver said, "Disabled people need disabled car(s)" and drove off. Gardner managed to capture a video of the driver stranding him, and posted it to social media where it immediately went viral.
Gardner, who suffers from Transverse Myelitis and has been confined to a wheel chair since childhood, told the Mail that this wasn't an isolated incident.
"This Uber driver is one of many taxis drivers who have refused me over the years and not only me but many of my friends who have disabilities," he said. "It's not just a problem with Uber, it's a problem UK wide. Don't get me wrong, 95% of taxi drivers in the UK would be more than happy to help when it comes to offering assistance to passengers with disabilities, a parent with a pushchair, or a customer with a trolley full of shopping. But it's that five per cent of drivers who wouldn't help or would just refuse to take the job altogether."
Uber got wind of the incident shortly after Gardner's video went viral, and a spokesman for the company was quick to respond.
"Uber does not tolerate any form of discrimination from riders or licensed drivers who use the app. We take any allegations of discriminatory behavior very seriously. We're currently investigating this incident and it is our policy to prevent the partner-driver from using our app until the investigation is concluded."