Just two days before Delhi Transport Department takes up Uber’s case to decide its fate, the US-based taxi aggregator has reached out to its registered users seeking support describing its next course of action putting five additional layers of security to ensure safer trips for its users in India.
The Transport department is scheduled to hear the Uber case on Monday to determine whether Uber can begin service again in Delhi. Mobile app-based cab service Uber is currently banned in the national capital region after the December 5 rape involving one of its drivers.
Uber has also asked its users to sign a petition (#BringUberBack) to bring Uber back moving on the roads on the National Capital region. The petition is aimed to show users’ support to the Delhi Transport department.
As part of its endeavour to get the ban lifted by various state Governments, Uber shared the statement on its blog as well, promising safer service and stating that it would go “above and beyond required government verification” with regards to background checks.
“At Uber the safety of our riders and drivers is our highest priority. We understand that best in class safety must be a constant endeavour and our commitment to our community means we work tirelessly to set the standard around the world. Since the recent tragic event in India, we have received a lot of feedback and suggestions.
We are rolling out the first new safety features and initiatives designed specifically for India with many more to come. We are ready to show you that we have heard our community and are back stronger and better to get India moving again safely,” Allen Penn, Head of Asia Operations, Uber Technologies, said in a separate statement.
According to the company’s statement to its registered users, the taxi aggregator plans to introduce five new steps for verifications to ensure safety. To ensure safer trips, Uber said, it has been working around the clock to make Uber in India even safer and we wanted to take this opportunity to clarify how Uber works and to update you on our progress.”
According to Uber, it will re-check all Uber Delhi driver-partners’ details of authentic and valid police verification. It will have a local team of “specially-trained safety experts to detect fraud, verify and authenticate driver and vehicle documents and test the validity of our screening”.
“We’re engaging local and global experts to evaluate the most effective background screening solution across India; pilot programs are already running in select cities, including Delhi,” Uber said in the statement.
As a reactive measure, Uber will have a local and dedicated customer support centre in India that will “specialise on resolving critical issues” for its rider and driver community in India, the company pointed out.
Uber has also come out with an in-app feature called ‘ShareMyETA’ that will allow Uber users to send the location (live GPS tracking), driver’s photo, name and vehicle license number to their “loved ones”. “ShareMyETA is the first of a whole set of new integrated Uber safety features coming to India,” Uber said.
Meanwhile, the Government is reportedly working on amending existing transport rules that would clarify regulations relating to web-based taxi services like Uber, Olacabs and TaxiForSure which are currently facing ban in Delhi and few other states.