Uklon, supported by Mastercard, has launched a special car class for people with disabilities
Kyiv, April 4, 2023 — Ukrainian ride-hailing service Uklon with the support of Mastercard and MacPaw has launched the Inclusive car class. From now on, passengers using a wheelchair can easily ride in specially equipped cars. The new car class is available in Kyiv and its suburbs within a 20 km radius, with further geographic expansion to be expected in the future.
Cars of the Inclusive class are equipped with a hydraulic or mechanical lift, a ramp, special safety belts, and wheelchair fasteners. To call a specially fitted car, one should enter the desired route and select the relevant class in the Uklon application. All trips are carried out by professional drivers who have been trained by the Dostupno.UA (EN: Accessible.UA) experts in communicating and interacting with people with musculoskeletal disorders. On top of the transportation service, special class drivers will help carry luggage or personal belongings if a passenger with disability travels unaccompanied.
The project goes with the support of Mastercard, which is a member of the Business Without Barriers community, and MacPaw: partner companies have allocated funds to purchase the first specially equipped cars. The project was also supported by the Ukrainian Veteran Fund of the Ministry of Veteran Affairs, the company's partner among veterans and their families. The Business Without Barriers community is united around the initiative of Olena Zelenska, the First Lady of Ukraine, and currently involves 22 companies.
Currently, the project is in beta but the company plans to scale it up – both by region and audience. The goal is to provide an opportunity for free movement to people with musculoskeletal conditions or other disabilities.
“For Uklon, launching the Inclusive class is an important step in creating equal opportunities for all Ukrainians. We believe this project will improve the quality of life of people using a wheelchair . As of 2021, there were more than 2 million people with disabilities registered in Ukraine, and, unfortunately, in the context of a full-scale war, their number can only increase. We are convinced that people with disabilities should not experience social exclusion or problems moving around the city. Thanks to our partners who immediately supported and joined the initiative, we can already offer several specially fitted cars for passengers who use wheelchairs in Kyiv. In the future, we will continue to work on expanding the project's geography”, noted Serhii Smus, operations director and co-founder of the online service Uklon.
“The barrier-free approach is critical for an open civilized society where equal rights and opportunities are provided to everyone. At Mastercard, we work daily to build an inclusive world where everyone has opportunities for development and growth – from implementing innovative payment solutions and supporting businesses to various social initiatives, especially those fostering an inclusive environment. We are happy to join the launch of the Inclusive car class with partners, responding to the urgent needs of people with disabilities. I am convinced that every Ukrainian deserves the best technological and convenient solutions. This initiative is another step towards a united and barrier-free society”, underlined Inga Andreieva, General Manager of Mastercard in Ukraine and Moldova.
“At MacPaw, we see Ukraine as a united country where everyone experiences a sense of security, belonging, and recognition as well as fair opportunities for self-realization. That is why we support inclusion by implementing innovative solutions and supporting social initiatives. For several years MacPaw has been cooperating with the Dostupno.UA initiative, which analyzes urban spaces and promotes their accessibility for low-mobility groups of the population. The MacPaw Space, which has organized training for professional drivers, is also inclusive. Ukraine is a country with inspiring people. This is a country worth fighting for, worth living in, despite all the difficulties we have to go through. Therefore, we are honored to join such projects that contribute to building an inclusive society”, noted Oleksandr Kosovan, founder and CEO of MacPaw.
“Veterans and military who use wheelchairs should not solve the quest of how to get to the doctor. They should not find themselves socially isolated. They have the right to decent treatment and comfort, without discrimination. Soldiers give their lives and health to protect the country. We are obliged to provide them with as many amenities as possible”, said Ruslana Velychko-Tryfoniuk, first deputy executive director of the Ukrainian Veteran Fund of the Ministry of Veteran Affairs.
Rides within Inclusive class will cost 30% less than the standard fare. All revenue from trips in this class will be used to cover operational costs: driver salaries, fuel purchases, etc.
‘Without barriers’ is an initiative of First Lady Olena Zelenska aimed at creating equal opportunities for all Ukrainians. Large Ukrainian and international companies that share barrier-free values have united around the initiative, creating the ‘Business Without Barriers’ community. Community members implement and promote changes to remove barriers to accessing work and services for everyone without exception, including people with disabilities, older people, parents with young children, youth, and more.
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