Uber, Lyft help visually impaired riders gain independence

Visually impaired turning to ride share to get around Louisville
Ben Wright (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Ben Wright (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Ben Wright's service dog Winston (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Ben Wright's service dog Winston (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville's visually impaired community is turning to ride share programs to get around town.

Ben Wright said he has been blind his entire life. Wright is a dorm parent for the Kentucky School for the Blind; he gets around with the help of his guide dog Winston. But to get around the roads of Louisville, Wright would have to to get a ride from a friend or schedule a ride from TARC 3, which requires 24 hours advance notice.

“Before Lyft, I couldn't go to the movies or the store when I wanted to because I had to wait for TARC 3," Wright said.

[MORE: City leaders want regulations in place for app-driven ride services]

Now, all it takes is the Lyft app, Wright's service dog Winston and the help of Lyft driver Chris Curtis.

Curtis helps passengers like Wright run errands or pick out groceries.

"I love that it helps them out, helps the community," Curtis said. "I feel good about it too."

After a career in youth ministry, Curtis recently made a career change to drive for Lyft. Curtis said he drives a visually impaired passenger at least once a day. He considers that extra step to help them with their errands, a privilege and is thrilled to give back to the community.

It's a step Wright appreciates.

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