9 out of 10 Uber drivers don’t have badges: Report

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 06 Februari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Nine out of 10 drivers working for Uber in Mumbai and Pune did not have the mandatory public service vehicle authorization badges, according to data from the transport commissioner's office.

These drivers have been told to stay off roads but a significant number of them may still be ferrying passengers, the authorities said. A report by the transport commissioner office showed that Uber has the lowest percentage of drivers (12%) with badges.

With Uber's officials also allegedly failing to comply with some new security measures, the transport department has told the government to ban the mobile app of Uber.

Uber was operating 1,056 taxis prior to December 5, when a 25-year-old executive was raped in a cab in Delhi. The incident led to many cabs going off roads and the Uber fleet in Mumbai/Pune fell from 1,056 taxis to 887 (16%); 979 drivers had partnered with the company, the report said. Of these, only 118 had the badges (till January-end), while the rest were either applying for one or did not have one, the report stated.

Uber general manager (Mumbai) Shailesh Sawlani told TOI that the company had shared driver and vehicle data with the transport department and traffic police for verification, and launched a nationwide third-party driver screening programme to ensure passenger safety. "We are launching two safety features on February 11: An in-app panic (SOS) button that allows a rider to alert the local police at the push of a button in an emergency, and safety net feature, which will allow users to share trip details and real-time location with up to five friends and family members," he said. Uber set up a 24x7 incident response team to oversee and respond to incidents against property and person reported by riders, he said, and it will receive a notification (in addition to the local police) when the panic button is pressed. "We are willing to install panic buttons provided that there is one, and the duty to install them is on the cab owner," he added.

The report said 272 out of Meru Plus's 883 drivers had badges (31%); TaxiForSure 571 out of 1,051 (54%); and Ola 750 out of 1,250.

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