Uber says that while the safety helpline is not a replacement for 100, it is a way for riders and drivers to get urgent support.

Uber India launches 24x7 helpline for riders to reach its safety team during a trip
Atom Uber Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 14:56

Uber India has launched a 24x7 safety helpline in India to get in touch with Uber’s response team in English and Hindi immediately during the ride. This is in addition to the in-app SOS button already available in the safety toolkit. This will allow riders to connect to law enforcement authorities in case of an emergency. 

The new safety line will provide riders with the option to get in touch with Uber’s safety team should they have an urgent, non-emergency issue, during a trip such as reporting a co-passenger’s misbehaviour, a dispute with a driver or a break-down, while on a trip.

Uber said in a statement that the Safety Incident Response Team will be available 24x7.

“At Uber, we are constantly evaluating how to raise safety standards by integrating feedback we receive from riders on how they would like to communicate with us. Based on this, we are excited to launch the 24x7 safety helpline today. All our riders will now be able to access this helpline, any time of the day or night, should they need urgent assistance during their trip. We want to ensure safety is built into the services we offer to all our riders and this additional level of security reiterates our commitment to building the best safety standards across India,” Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations (Rides), Uber India and South Asia said.

How it works:

The safety helpline number is available under the safety toolkit banner hosted within the Uber app.

To reach the safety tool kit, riders can tap the shield icon. The rider can then tap the safety helpline icon, hosted within the safety tool kit, and swipe to speak to an Uber representative

Prior to this, Uber launched a safety toolkit for riders and drivers. This included call anonymisation to protect the privacy of riders, comprehensive background checks of drivers and updated community guidelines, which outline the behavior expected of riders and drivers on the app.

Its rival Ola too, has a 24x7 helpline feature in India via the in-app self-serve system and an emergency button, among other safety features.

There have been several instances in the past of drivers diverting routes, misbehaving, assaulting riders while in the cab. In most of these instances, passengers were unable to receive immediate support. Several riders have also complained of the SOS button not working and Ola or Uber’s response being inadequate.

Also read: How Ola and Uber can be more proactive about passenger safety

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