Mubasher: Uber on Tuesday rolled out unprecedented safety measures to help everyone using its app stay safe as governments across the MENA region started to loosen lockdown and workplaces gradually resume operations.
In countries where face coverings are obligatory like Saudi Arabia, drivers can cancel the ride if a rider is not wearing a mask, without incurring a penalty, according to a press release.
Moreover, drivers will be required to confirm if they have provided extra safety measures like regularly sanitising their car and making hand sanitiser available for their riders.
Likewise, riders will be needed to take safety precautions such as washing their hands before getting in the car, sitting in the backseat, and opening windows for ventilation.
At the global level, Uber is investing $50 million to ensure every driver and courier has access to personal protective equipment as well as cleaning and sanitising supplies they need to work more safely on the Uber app.
Commenting on the announcement, director and general manager at Uber MENA, Abdellatif Waked, said: “Governments, as well as the private sector across the globe, are continually working to assess and adapt a world post the COVID-19 pandemic. At Uber, we put safety at the heart of everything we do and we believe technology can make travel safer than ever before.”
Other safety initiatives announced by Uber amid the COVID-19 include:
- New health and hygiene feedback system: A new feedback option in the app that would indicate if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask. Anyone who is repeatedly flagged for violating the new safety policies risks losing access to Uber’s apps.
- Safety education materials: Safety tips and recommendations compiled by Uber specifically geared toward ridesharing that will be used to educate riders and drivers in case any unsafe behaviour is reported to the company.
- Financial compensation: An up to 14-day financial assistance to any driver diagnosed with COVID-19 or is individually asked to self-isolate by a public health authority while their account is on hold.
The new safety precautions will be effective until the end of June.