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uberASSIST: Specialised service for disabled and elderly

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source: techinasia.com

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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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)