Lyft, a new ride-hailing app is coming to the GTA

The ride-hailing company Lyft announced last week that it would launch in the GTA by the end of the year. Like Uber, the Lyft app matches you with a nearby driver who will pick you up and take you where you want to go. Just download the app on your smartphone, setup a payment method, request a ride and go.
Lyft has its own official service animal policy and states that drivers are required to comply with Lyft’s Service Animal policy and will face immediate and permanent deactivation from the platform if they intentionally refuse to drive a rider because of their service animal.  
For more information about tips to help use the ride-hailing app, please refer to our Lyft tips below. We will update it with Lyft’s
official policies as more information becomes available.

Tips for a stress-free journey

  • After booking, call or text the driver. Tell them explicitly where you are. For example, tell them if you need them to pull into the driveway or parking lot. Many of the geo-map “pins” are inaccurate. For example, if you book an Uber to come to 1929 Bayview, the map tells them it’s at the northbound 11 bus stop, not the front entrance. Be sure to let them know your exact waiting spot when you book.
  • It is entirely at your discretion if you choose to disclose your disability. Some people prefer to, but you are under no obligation to disclose if you don’t want to.
  • If a driver cancels your journey, you will receive a message saying the driver has cancelled the journey. If you suspect it’s because of your disability or the fact that you’re a guide dog user, it is important that you take a screenshot of the cancellation on your phone. Lyft will also have a record of this, but it’s important that you have one, should there be a dispute. The information should also appear in your journey history in your Lyft account.
  • Lyft has an online form to contact them: Complete this form or call 1-844-250-3174 to let them know that a driver refused service and give a brief outline of the situation, indicating that it may be disability-related.

The use of guide dogs for Ontarians who are blind or partially sighted is protected with three pieces of legislation:

  • The Blind Person’s Rights Act
    • 2. (1) Guide dogs permitted in places to which public admitted. No person, directly or indirectly, alone or with another, by himself, herself or itself or by the interposition of another, shall, (a) deny to any person the     accommodation, services or facilities available in any place to which the public is customarily admitted; or (b) discriminate against any person with respect to the accommodation, services or facilities available in any place to     which the public is customarily admitted, or the charges for the use thereof, for the reason that he or she is a blind person accompanied by a guide dog.
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act
    • If a person with a disability is accompanied by a guide dog or other service animal, the provider of goods or services shall ensure that the person is permitted to enter the premises with the animal and to keep the animal with him or her unless the animal is otherwise excluded by law from the premises. The fine for denying entry in Ontario is up to $5,000. If someone is denied service they can file a human rights complaint.
  • Ontario Human Rights Code
    • The Ontario Human Rights Code ensures dignity, respect, full participation, equal rights and opportunities for all people, regardless of their disabilities. A violation of the code may lead to a human rights complaint.

About CNIB

CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To learn more, visit or call the toll-free CNIB Contact Centre at 1-800-563-2642
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