Is Uber safe?

A few days ago, my aunt who lives in other city, visited my home, and I was so excited to see her because she is only my family, living in this country (U.S.) and we had not met for a while. However, she had an issue about how to get my spot from the airport since I could not pick her up due to my schedule. I asked her to use “Uber”, but she was concerned about safety for it. “Who is driving the Uber?” Before that, let’s see what it is and how it works.

Uber is a mobile app in our smartphone offering a ride to a customer(s). To use Uber, a customer must signup to create an account. By the tap of a button on the smartphone, the customer as a passenger is able to take a ride and get to their destination in a convenient and inexpensive way. When the passenger arrives at the destination, he or she can just get out of the vehicle, and the fare will be automatically charged to the payment method they have linked to their Uber account, either credit card or PayPal account. It is also allowed to pay in cash.

Mobile apps today provide a thousand of services to users, and Uber definitely has a great and necessary concept to customers, especially in places where a customer can hardly catch a taxi. By requesting a ride, customers are able to know helpful information such as an estimated time of arrival for the driver and who the driver is, including first name, vehicle type, and license plate number. However, can a passenger really know about who he or she is? According to the Uber website, some prerequisites are required to become an Uber driver. For instance, a driver must be 21 years of age or older without criminal history and drug-related offenses.

(requirement for Uber driver)

Despite the specific requirements, it is not completely safe for users to take Uber because incidents like sexual assault have occurred. According to the Boston Police Department, a 30-year-old woman was assaulted during a ride at late night.

(a report by the Boston Police Department)

What could possibly Uber attempt to build a safe image for users? As one of the attempts, Uber has been testing the Uber’s hotline for emergencies in case something wrong happens during a ride since October 2015. The line allows passengers to connect with Uber’s Incident Response Teams in Chicago and Phoenix. However, I am not personally sure whether it really reduces customer’s conflict or incident because of its passive use. Other than that, Uber should forge a safety customer service system, so users can trust the company and use it without fear.

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