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uberASSIST: Specialised service for disabled and elderly

New Delhi: Uber, the app-based taxi service, introduced ‘uberASSIST’, which will provide specialised service for the disabled and the elderly. The service is the first such move in the capital and will become operational from Thursday, December 3, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

“Already present in other markets worldwide, Delhi will be the first city in India where Uber is rolling out this service,” said an Uber spokesman to the Times of India.

The driver partners who would be a part of this service will be trained to assist differently-abled or elderly passengers in getting on or off the cab. The drivers will also learn how to store and fold their wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters for transport. Moreover, safety requirements and other necessary bits of knowledge will be imparted to them.

“This will involve visible and invisible disability awareness and communication tips to provide an excellent experience to riders,” added spokesperson Gagan Bhatia.

Uber has come into a partnership with iCare Life to provide its “top” drivers with this specialized training, which will inform drivers how to effectively cooperate with such passengers. They will learn how to ask the right questions and do the right things, so that the passengers have an enjoyable journey.

To access the service, it needs to unlocked first through the Uber mobile app, by typing and entering the code ‘ASSISTDEL’ in the promotions tab. “Select the ‘uberASSIST’ option above the slider, set your location and get your ride,” said the Uber official.

“I use wheelchair and I have experienced the challenges persons with disabilities face in intra-city travel, as cars aren’t accessible and drivers insensitive to our needs,” said Nipun Malhotra of Nipman Foundation, an organization working for the differently-abled.

This Uber service would “soon” be available in other Indian cities.

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