Update: Uber has confirmed that it has suspended operations in New Delhi. The company says that it is also taking several important actions to improve its operations in the country. This includes:
– Driver screening: Assessing its driver screening processes and evaluating additional screening options including background checks on all its driver partners in India “above and beyond what is currently required”.
– Full audit of rider feedback & support processes: Uber is conducting a full audit of its verification, rider feedback & support processes. It claims to be taking measures to ensure that critical rider feedback is escalated immediately and action is taken in every instance. Uber is also re-reviewing rider feedback on every driver partner across India.
– The company is partnering with women’s safety organizations in New Delhi & across the country. It is also bringing in its global best practices that will improve its India safety efforts.
Earlier: Uber seems to have stopped cab bookings in New Delhi from yesterday evening. We tried booking a cab from several locations at various times yesterday evening and at the time of writing this article but were unable to do so. Quartz India also reports that they were unable to book a cab from Uber yesterday.
Delhi Police had apparently hand-delivered the ban order to Uber officials yesterday evening, since the company had apparently claimed that they hadn’t received the order, as indicated by a India Today report. From what we’ve heard, Uber has also received similar notices in Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai. However the company is still providing cab booking services in these cities. We’ve written to Uber for a confirmation and will update once we hear back.
Uber’s head of Asia operations Allen Penn had earlier said in an interview with the Huffington Post India that they were not complying with the order since it would affect the livelihood of its drivers. “I find it really important to make sure that thousands of people who rely on Uber to feed their families continue to have that opportunity.”
What about others?
Competing services Ola and TaxiForSure are however still accepting cab bookings in the city, at the time of writing this article. Note that the Delhi Government had banned all unlicensed taxi services including Ola & TaxiForSure few hours after the Uber ban. We are currently awaiting a response from Ola.
In an emailed response to Medianama, a TaxiForSure spokesperson said:
“TaxiforSure has not received any official communication from the authorities of Delhi on stopping our partner vehicles. We will work with the government to ensure the convenience and safety of the people, especially women”
Will Uber be banned in Karnataka or not?
Karnataka Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy has told reporters in Belagavi that they will be banning Uber from today (Thursday) if its not registered with the State government, following a fax request from the Central government. (hat tip – Gautam John).
Interestingly though, he said that banning web-based taxi services doesn’t solve the sexual assault against women and this ban will also not stand legal scrutiny, since a Karnataka High Court order from last year allows state permit holders to offer cab services in the city.
Yesterday, Bangalore City Police had also ordered all cab drivers in the city to get themselves verified by December 31, Bengaluru Police Commissioner MN Reddi told the Economic Times that drivers can apply for verification online by paying Rs 250, following they will verify the driver and provide a clearance certificate.
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– What TaxiForSure, Ola & Uber told about driver verification, training & addressing driver issues
– Not just Uber, Delhi bans all unlicensed taxi services, including Ola, TaxiForSure
– Why radio taxi guidelines are not applicable to Uber
– Why Delhi Govt is right in considering legal action against Uber
– On the responsibility, accountability and liability of platforms, marketplaces and aggregators