Uber has released its new guidelines for the safety of its customers and drivers in the post lockdown world. Looking at that, the “new normal” is going to bring a lot of changes to how you commute.
Cabs were an integral part of our daily lives before the pandemic, and they’ll continue to remain so when everything gets back to normal. However, if the new company guidelines are anything to go by, the way we used to commute is going to be completely different, and we’ll see a “new normal” even in our cabs.
To ensure the safety of the community, Uber has made some changes to how it works. It has introduced a new protocol where both drivers and the customers have to fulfil a variety of tasks and checkpoints before they’re allowed to travel in an Uber.
With public transport slowly resuming, even cab aggregators have been allowed to function but with restrictions. Many people are curious to know how travelling in an Uber will look like now. Your next Uber ride is going to be drastically different from the one you took before lockdown, and here are all the new things that are happening.
The New Online Checklist For COVID Safe Cabs
One of the main things Uber has done is that they’ve created a Standard Operating Procedure which needs to be followed by all its drivers to ensure safety.
Before being allowed to accept a trip, they’ll have to complete an “online checklist”. The tasks on the checklist vary from making masks compulsory to regular sanitization of the cabs, all of which have been listed below.
Masks Are Compulsory For Everyone
The company has made masks mandatory for both drivers and riders. According to the new guidelines, the masks need to be worn at all times. Sachin Kansal, Uber’s Global Senior Director said: “Starting today, drivers and riders will be required to wear face masks if they go online in Uber in India.”
To ensure execution of this, drivers will be asked to upload a selfie of themselves wearing masks, with the photo being verified by new technology specially developed by the company for this purpose.
In the event the driver doesn’t complete this task, they will be unable to accept a trip. Drivers have to complete this task each time they get a trip, ensuring that they take adequate safety precautions at all times.
Regular Disinfection Of Uber Cabs
Drivers have also been asked to regularly disinfect the cabs. The guidelines issued by the company state that the cab needs to be disinfected before each ride.
Surfaces that come in high contacts such as door handles, window adjusters and car seats need to be sanitised before and after each trip.
To allow drivers to ensure the sanitation of their vehicles, Uber will be providing free health and safety supplies to them. As many as Drivers 90 centres across 14 cities in India have been set up for this purpose. The Uber app will direct the drivers to the nearest centres form where they can pick up supplies such as masks, sanitizers, shower caps and disinfectants.
As many as 3 million three-ply face masks, 1.2 million shower caps, 200,000 bottles of disinfectants, and 200,000 bottles of sanitisers have been procured for this purpose by the company.
Guidelines For Riders As Well
Drivers aren’t the only people that are expected to follow safety norms. Uber has said that each rider has the responsibility to ensure their sanitation and safety before they book a cab.
Additionally, the riders won’t be allowed to use the front seat. If passengers have luggage, they have to handle it on their own and the driver wouldn’t be allowed to touch the passenger’s personal belongings.
There is a restriction on the use of AC in the cab as well, as it can only be used on ‘fresh air’ or fan mode.
Follow The New Guidelines Or Get Banned From Uber
A robust checks and balances system has also been developed to ensure everyone concerned follows the highest standards of safety and precaution.
A unique feature developed especially as a response to COVID-19 that allows both the driver or the rider to cancel the ride if the other is not wearing a mask.
The rating system has also been modified. You can now give a poor rating if either of you removes the mask during the journey, with not wearing a mask or face cover has been listed among reasons for a poor rating,
Multiple violations of safety guidelines may also lead to deactivating the accounts of guilty drivers or riders.
Looking at the new guidelines by Uber, it looks like commuting by cab is going to change permanently. If you manage to hail a cab after the lockdown, tell us in the comments section below about your experience!