Its been barely a month since infamous Uber rape case incident came to fore and Uber were forced to shut down their services in Delhi. They are now back – and have started their operations has a licensed Radio Taxi cab operator. This is a very different business model (atleast on paper) than what Uber normally operates on.
Uber has released an official statement to Wall Street Journal (read full statement below) in which they said that they have applied for license under Government’s Radio Taxi Scheme. To get the license as Radio cab operator, Uber will need to have a fleet of minimum 200 vehicles and also operate a 24 hour call center. The license also mandates that each car in the fleet will need a panic button, which a passenger can use when in distress!
While Uber is resuming their services, the rape case incident is still not behind them. The case is currently in Indian high court against Shiv Kumar Yadav, the man who allegedly raped a girl from Delhi, The incident happened when she had taken the Uber cab services on the night of the incident.
What could be even more damaging for Uber is that the victim has has now hired a very high-profile New York attorney to look into whether she can sue Uber in the U.S. If this happens, it may cost Uber dearly!
One of the important things that Uber has to do before they start their operations is thorough verification of the cab drivers. Uber has said that they will allow only those drivers on the roads who have undergone re-verification in last six weeks!
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Here is the full statement released by Uber (Via WSJ)
Over the past few weeks, we have had many conversations with our rider and driver communities, and we are aware that they eagerly want Uber back on Delhi roads. Our driver-partners’ livelihoods had been severely impacted, and our riders were left without the platform they had come to rely upon for their daily needs.
Yesterday, Uber applied for a license under the Radio Taxi Scheme to reflect our commitment to providing riders with more options for safe and reliable transportation, including the ability to request a Radio Taxi on-demand.
Meanwhile, we continue to engage with the relevant Delhi authorities to work towards the Kolkata model, set by the Bidhannagar City Police, who have introduced new regulations for on-demand transportation technology aggregators. We believe this is the progressive model that ultimately puts the safety of consumers first, while recognizing the power of new technologies like Uber that will make city transportation safer.
As we resume operations in Delhi, we are only allowing driver-partners who have undergone re-verification of their Police clearance in the last six weeks to get back on the platform. For an additional layer of screening, we are implementing independent background checks on all driver partners, plus vehicle documentation reviews. Our teams have worked tirelessly to develop new safety features (including an in-app emergency button) nationwide, establish a dedicated incident response team and re-verify the full credentials of every driver-partner on the Uber platform in Delhi.
Connecting riders with a safe, reliable transportation option, while providing drivers with better opportunities is our unwavering mission, and we are setting an even higher standard than current industry requirements. Our commitment to make transportation safe in Indian cities has never been more absolute and we won’t rest till the job is done.