No Face Mask, No Trip- Uber
…Promises 14-Days Financial Assistance to Drivers
General Manger of Uber in Nigeria, Ridwan Olalere said Uber has toughened its ride policy while allowing either driver or passenger to cancel a trip after viewing each other through an object recognition technology.
He disclosed this to the media recently while introducing various measures Uber has put in place to support and protect drivers against the spread of Covid-19.
According to him, these measures include mask verification,safety checklist and hygiene feedback and in app sanitizing policy.
He explained the company would not compromise safety but give maximum support to drivers and riders during these unprecedented times and to limit the spread of coronavirus.
He was also quick to add that “As a commitment to further support drivers, we are also providing up to 14 days of financial assistance to drivers and delivery people diagnosed with COVID-19 or ordered to self-quarantine by a doctor or public health authority, including where they have a pre-existing health condition that puts them at higher risk”.
The General Manager stressed that the transport industry in Nigeria was facing new and unpredictable challenges even as coronavirus continues to spread but Uber has rolled out a number of new features and policies to help ensure drivers health and well-being while operating across the platform, including info in-app, providing them with sanitizing reimbursements, and more.
“All Uber riders and drivers would be required to wear a mask or face covering when taking a trip. As part of a new in-app safety checklist, before drivers and couriers go online they will be asked to take a selfie to verify they are wearing a mask or face covering using new object recognition technology. Any driver who is not wearing a mask or other face-covering will not be able to go online.
“Riders will also be required to take safety precautions like washing their hands before getting in the car, sitting in the backseat and opening windows for ventilation”.
Olalere further stated that Uber has worked with manufacturers and distributors to provide drivers, carriers and delivery people with disinfectants and cloth masks, saying, “Drivers have been sent tips to follow to help keep themselves and the Uber community safe, including information on how to get reimbursements or PPE. We have also partnered with UAP Old Mutual to provide drivers with masks”.
For safety checks, he said, drivers would also be asked to confirm they have taken additional safety measures such as regularly sanitising their car and making hand sanitizer available for their riders. While riders will be required to take safety precautions like washing their hands before getting in the car, sitting in the backseat and opening windows for ventilation.
“Free cancellations for safety concerns: Drivers can cancel a ride without a penalty if a rider isn’t wearing a mask or face covering. Riders can do the same. These cancellations must be related to safety concerns, Uber’s Community Guidelines prohibit discrimination against anyone based on their race or perceived national origin.
“We are adding new options for feedback in the Uber app, including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask. Anyone who is repeatedly flagged for violating our new safety policies risks losing access to Uber’s apps.
” Working with the World Health Organization and the latest public health advice, we have compiled safety tips and recommendations specifically geared toward ridesharing. This would be used to educate riders and drivers when we learn of unsafe behaviour”.