Uber Pool Cancelled Indefinitely, Face-Mask Compulsory For All Uber Riders; Govt Allows Ola, Uber To Run

Uber Pool Cancelled Indefinitely, Face-Mask Compulsory For All Uber Riders; Govt Allows Ola, Uber To Run
Uber Pool Cancelled Indefinitely, Face-Mask Compulsory For All Uber Riders; Govt Allows Ola, Uber To Run

Sunday, May 17 brought with it the guidelines of the 4th phase of the nation-wide lockdown, commonly termed by many as ‘Lockdown 4.0’.

As a part of its guidelines, the Centre has allowed inter-state movement of people in private vehicles and public transport, however with certain key restriction points.

Sunday evening’s guidelines of the home ministry also end the restrictions on movement of cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, taxis and cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber.

Today, we’ll be filling you in with the cautionary steps that Uber has incorporated on its platform, which you’ll have to mandatorily follow, if you wish to hail an Uber ride, concerning your health and safety.

Before plunging onto that, let’s understand briefly, the areas concerning the ‘road travel’ section.

Centre Allows Road Transport but what’s the Twist?

The home ministry in its guidelines for Lockdown 4.0, announced that the state governments were free to resume intra-state and inter-state movement of people.

It read, “Inter-State movement of vehicles and buses has also been allowed with mutual consent of the concerned States/ UTs. Intra-State movement of vehicles and buses can be decided by the States and UTs”.

These guidelines also lifted restrictions from movement of cycle rickshaws, auto rickshaws, taxis and cab aggregators like Ola and Uber.

As you must know, May 1 onwards, the home ministry had allowed limited use of cabs during the third round of the lockdown in green and orange zones

However, the new guidelines have given the state governments the authority to impose restrictions according to the prevailing situation.

What are Uber’s New Safety Features?

Now that you can start using the cab hailing services like Uber and Ola, Uber has decided to roll out a couple of safety features on its platforms, which will be a compulsory step to abide, if you want to use its cab services.

Uber’s new safety features for riders and drivers announced on May 18, makes regular disinfection of the cabs and masks mandatory.

  • Uber has made it mandatory for all drivers and riders to wear a face mask at all times.
  • There will be ‘online checklists’, which the Uber drivers will first need to clear, in order to book a trip.
  • Drivers will have to confirm that they have quipped themselves with all the coronavirus safety measures.
  • Riders will also need to go through a similar checklist before booking a ride the next time.

Drivers will Need to Take a Selfie for Assurance

Along with checking off all the compulsory steps on the checklist, Uber has added another precautionary step for drivers.

Drivers will be asked to take a selfie with a mask on, before accepting trips. This photo will be verified by a new technology developed by Uber especially for this pandemic situation.

If drivers upload the picture without having their masks on, their will automatically be unable to accept any trip. Uber will also send them a warning message saying, “We’re unable to confirm your face cover or mask. Place it over your nose and mouth and try again.”

Uber Sources out Over 200,000 Disinfectant Bottles

Uber has also made it mandatory for drivers to disinfect the cabs before every ride. It confirms sourcing out over 3 million three-ply face masks, 1.2 million shower caps, 200,000 bottles of disinfectants, and 200,000 bottles of sanitizers for free distribution to all drivers across India.

It will also reimburse those who have purchased it by themselves.

  • Uber’s new in-app safety feature will notify drivers to replenish their PPE supplies after they have completed a predetermined number of trips. 
  • This notification will provide a list of convenient pick up points and generate a QR code once they select the preferred location.
  • An Uber volunteer will scan the QR code at the designated pick up location and hand over PPE supplies to drivers.
  • Uber has disconnected Pool services and only Uber Go, Moto and Auto will be operational.
  • Not more than two riders will be allowed in Uber Go and no one will be able to sit on the front seat next to the driver.
  • Uber has also confirmed that rider and driver will have the flexibility to cancel the ride if they find the other person without a mask. 
  • Both, the rider as well as the driver are required to compulsorily wear the face mask during the entire ride.
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