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Uber SA Says The Safety Of Drivers Using The App Is A Priority, Just Like The Safety Of Riders

Uber SA Says The Safety Of Drivers Using The App Is A Priority, Just Like The Safety Of Riders..  Uber SA says the safety of both drivers on the platform and riders remains a priority.

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Uber SA says safety of drivers using the app is also a priority, just like the safety of riders.

This follows complaints from drivers using the app who were responding to a Washington Post expose on Uber’s former aggressive management practices.

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Drivers who use the platform in SA told TimesLIVE on Wednesday they were vindicated by the expose because the problems highlighted were issues  they had raised over the years. Among other things, drivers accused the platform of not prioritising their safety, as Uber did little verification of the riders.

However, spokesperson for Uber SA Mpho Sebelebele said all riders, regardless of the payment method they opt to use, still need to create an account and provide personal information.

“With the help of mobile verification on sign-ups and advanced fraud methodology, we can continuously monitor any suspicious activity on the platform,” Sebelebele said.

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She said new cash riders without a valid credit card on file will now need to confirm their identity by linking to their social media accounts as well as take a selfie when they sign up.

“Safety is and has always been a top priority for us, and we have invested heavily over the years in technology to help keep drivers and riders be safe. Many of these industry-leading safety features are now available in SA, including our in-app emergency button and strong rider verification measures.”

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Drivers also complained about Uber SA’s lack of willingness to engage with them when they have issues, but Uber SA said they regularly engage with drivers.

“We run regular round-tables both in person and virtually attended by hundreds of drivers and delivery people across the country. These sessions represent a diverse range of drivers and delivery people, helping to ensure Uber understands the concerns of drivers across a broad spectrum.  In addition, we proactively call drivers to gauge their sentiment and to collect feedback on a daily basis through our in-app driver satisfaction survey,” Uber SA said in a statement.

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More about the round-tables:

  • These sessions take place on a bi-weekly and monthly basis. As social distancing eased up in the past year, Uber SA says they were able to run over 30 round-tables attended by hundreds of drivers across the country. These sessions represent a diverse range of drivers, helping ensure Uber understands the concerns of drivers across a broad spectrum.

Some round-table wins:

  • Demarcated pickup and drop-off zones at airports with increased accuracy of where riders are within the airport.
  • Luggage hint (for drivers to understand whether riders being picked up or dropped off at the airport have luggage)
  • Neighbourhood names (versus just street names)
  • Rider education on vehicle etiquette, vehicle passenger capacity limits and waiting time.
  • Support relationships with law enforcement and drivers (safety session programme with SAPS).
  • Upfront pricing — riders and drivers get a trip price before booking their journey, which not only empowers drivers to make informed decisions about their businesses, but also safeguards them when it comes to areas that present safety concerns.
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“Since our SA launch in 2013, we have created economic opportunities for thousands of people in SA and currently have 20,000 drivers and delivery people earning through the Uber and Uber Eats apps,” Sebelebele said.

TimesLIVE
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