On Thursday, ride-sharing app Uber India said it had in recent weeks raised fares to protect drivers from the impact of rising fuel prices in many Indian cities, adding that it now showed the trip destination to drivers before they decide to accept a ride to allow them to make informed choices.
The company said it continues to strive to make driving with Uber a viable and attractive option for drivers, and added that “the recent fare hike will directly increase their revenue per ride.”
“Rising fuel prices have affected everyone, especially rideshare drivers who have felt the pinch of rising fuel prices,” the company said in a statement announcing a slew of new product features for improve driver and driver experience.
In March this year, the first-ever Uber Driver Advisory Council met, and the driver members of the council raised this issue as a key issue, he explained.
“Over the past few weeks, we have raised Uber fares to protect drivers from the impact of rising fuel prices in many cities across India,” the statement said.
Uber also said it now shows drivers the destination of the ride before they decide to accept a ride to allow them to make informed choices.
The initial destination feature is already available in 20 cities and will be expanded to all others, Uber said in a statement.
The move matters as the government recently warned taxi aggregators including Ola and Uber to take tough action unless they improve their systems and address growing consumer complaints.
On May 10, the government held a meeting with carpooling platforms amid a rise in consumer complaints over alleged unfair business practices on their part, including the policy of canceling rides, as drivers sometimes force customers to cancel trips after accepting reservations, resulting in customers paying cancellation penalties. The government had made it clear that there would be “zero tolerance against such abusive practices” by taxi aggregators.
Ride-sharing platforms have been urged to address consumer complaints as a priority and take corrective action to ensure adequate protection of consumer rights.
On Thursday, Uber said: “To address issues such as ride cancellations, drivers not turning on the air conditioning during rides, or refusing to accept online payments, the company has implemented new measures. .”
Initiatives include empowering drivers to make informed choices with information about where to travel.
“We understand the feeling you get when the driver calls and asks the dreaded question, ‘Jana Kahan Hai’ (where do you need to go) and then cancels the trip,” Uber said.
To take the frustration out of passengers and drivers, Uber said it now shows drivers travel destinations before they decide to accept the ride.
“In our attempt to encourage good platform behavior – drivers who reach a predefined trip acceptance threshold will be eligible to get destination information so they can make an informed choice. The destination feature initial is already available in 20 cities and will be rolled out to all others,” he said in a statement.
Uber said it believes the changes will be appreciated by drivers and in turn will result in a better experience for passengers.
“With these changes, we’re also heightening service quality expectations with drivers, particularly in areas such as cancellations and guaranteed AC rides,” he said.
In addition to notifications and driver training, repeated passenger complaints about these service quality essentials could lead to penalties and even restricted access to apps, he said.
Stating that the issues at stake are complex and “there is no silver bullet”, Uber pledged to “listen to passengers and drivers”.
Acknowledging that drivers “naturally” don’t like having to stray from their path to pick up passengers, Uber said that to remedy the situation, it has introduced additional income for drivers in case they have to travel a long distance to pick up passengers. .
“This will give drivers the comfort of accepting more rides and will benefit passengers as ride reliability increases. Drivers will be able to see earnings for longer rides, displayed separately on the receipt,” Uber said.
As drivers want more payment flexibility, Uber now shows them the payment method (cash or online) before the trip.
“This allows the driver to choose a cash-only ride if that’s what they need. Going a step further to make the cash or online decision irrelevant, we’ve now introduced a daily checkout process for drivers “, according to Uber.
This will ensure that Monday-Thursday ride earnings are credited to drivers the following day, while Friday-Sunday earnings are credited on Monday. “At Uber, our goal is to provide a safe and reliable platform for drivers and passengers and any experience that fails is unacceptable to us,” said Nitish Bhushan, director of central operations for Uber India.
New product features such as original destination, long handling charges, daily payments, cash indicator as well as recent fare increases should address reliability and quality of service issues more holistically. , while improving the overall passenger and driver experience, Bhushan added.