Uber and Bajaj announced they’re partnering with auto drivers to install safety partitions just behind the driver seat in 1 lakh autos across the country to act as a protective barrier for restricting contact and to facilitate social distancing between drivers and riders for making travel safer in the new normal.
Safety kits consisting of face masks, hand sanitizers and vehicle disinfectants will also be distributed to 1 lakh auto-rickshaw drivers across 20 cities including New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mysore, Madurai, among others. Additionally, Uber has been leveraging its technology to provide drivers mandatory specialized training modules via the Uber app on the correct usage of PPE and sanitisation protocols for their vehicles.
Sharing details of the partnership, Nandini Maheshwari, Director, Business Development, Uber APAC, said, “As Uber resumes services, we want to stay ahead of the curve and be ready to assist millions of our riders with safe and reliable transport options in the ‘new normal.’ Our partnership with Bajaj, one of the most trusted and respected brands in India, demonstrates our commitment to the safety of everyone who uses our platform. Over the coming few months, we will leverage our close ties to continue to instill confidence in our driver partners and provide peace of mind for millions of our riders.”
Talking about the partnership, Samardeep Subandh, President, Intra-city Business, Bajaj Auto, said, “As our country opens up, we at Bajaj Auto are keen to assist our driver partners in giving a safe ride to their customers. Towards that we are reaching out to more than 1 lakh drivers to install safety partitions and deliver disinfection kits irrespective of the make of the vehicle.”
To maintain the highest safety and hygiene standards, Uber has launched a comprehensive set of safety measures, such as the Go Online Checklist, a mandatory mask policy for both riders and drivers, pre-trip mask verification selfies for drivers, mandatory driver education and an updated cancellation policy allowing both riders and driver to cancel trips if they don’t feel safe.
Uber has also allocated $50 million globally to purchase safety supplies like masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant sprays for drivers. In India the teams have already been distributing protective equipment to active drivers across 70+ cities where operations have resumed. Uber’s new in-app safety feature will notify drivers to replenish their PPE supplies after they have completed a predetermined number of trips.
As cities start to reopen, Uber’s rides business is seeing green shoots of recovery, with low cost products like Moto and Auto recovering faster than other categories.
Uber and Bajajs’ latest safety initiative follows the earlier high profile June 2019 launch of Bajaj Qute on UberXS, a brand new category launched on Uber’s platform, to provide smart and affordable mobility solutions for residents of Bangalore.