Do you drive a van or sports utility vehicle and work for one of America's new rideshare companies? Are you interested in meeting the needs of your community, while at the same time scoring more customers and boosting your sales? If so, read on to learn about 3 very good reasons to install a wheelchair lift in your vehicle-for-hire.

1. There Is A Public Demand For Wheelchair-Accessible Transportation

When disability rights activists showed up outside the main office building of one popular ride-share company in New York, they were quite clear about what they wanted. They wanted ride-share programs to give them access to handicapped-accessible vehicles. 

The rideshare company that is the target of these protests currently works with mobility-impaired individuals by connecting them to taxi services that offer handicapped-accessible services, but according to the protesters, that's not enough.

One protester made the point that people rave about the new ride-share services; they're fast and convenient. While there may indeed be other options available that allow mobility-impaired ride-seekers to get from point A to point B, the riders are still robbed of their chance to experience the joys of modern-day ride-sharing services.

By installing a wheelchair lift in your vehicle-for-hire, you can serve the needs of a demographic that really wants your business. 

2. There's Plenty Of Opportunity For Sales

A low-end wheelchair lift that is capable of fitting any van will cost between $1,500 and $3,500. Will fitting your vehicle with a wheelchair lift be profitable enough to justify the buy? Disabled American adults spend $17.3 billion a year on travel expenses alone, and much of this money goes to taxi and ride-share fare spent touring their destination spots. Given this fact, it's highly likely that you'll see a pretty good profit margin. 

And since your new vehicle wheelchair lift will allow you to offer more people rides than you could before installing it, you can expect to see your return-on-investment add up quickly.

Right now, the same rideshare company that was protested by disability rights activists has 20,000 drivers working in once city, yet not one of those drivers drives a vehicle that is wheelchair-accessible. There is a clear need for mobility-impaired-friendly vehicles to join the fleet of ride-share rigs. By installing a wheelchair lift in your ride-for-hire van or SUV today, you can begin to build relationships with mobility-impaired customers, and get a leg up on the inevitable competition you're bound to soon see in the ride-share industry.

3. You Might Have To Install A Wheelchair Lift Soon, Anyway

There are several lawsuits already in the works concerning ride-share companies violating the terms set forth by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under this act, all businesses must provide adequate accommodations in order to offer people with disabilities the same freedoms as non-disabled individuals. As of now, however, the ride-share companies cannot demand their drivers own vehicles that meet the needs of the disabled, because all of the drivers work as independent contractors. 

At least one ride-share company claims that they require their drivers to reasonably accommodate mobility-impaired individuals by placing their wheelchair in the trunk of the vehicle (as long as it will fit), and assisting the rider into their seat. However, with the United Spinal Association calling for a mandate that would require all ride-share vehicles to be wheelchair-accessible, you may soon be required to take the extra step and purchase a wheelchair lift for your vehicle.

Mobility-impaired individuals want access to ride-sharing services and, as a driver-for-hire, you can bring that to them. Invest in your freelance driving business by purchasing a wheelchair lift for your van or SUV and serve the needs of your community while at the same time boosting your sales. Contact a distributor like Corner Home Medical for more information on installing a wheelchair lift.