Uber announces Uber Essential for urgent travel in select cities amid coronavirus lockdown
Uber, the San-Francisco based ride hailing platform, today announced the launch of Uber Essential in Bengaluru, Gurugram, Hyderabad, and Nashik. The limited mobility solution is being offered with the consent of the government authorities. Uber Essential will provide reliable and efficient service to locations like hospitals and pharmacies as approved by the local authorities.
All riders on Uber Essential are mandated to carry relevant documentation to validate their purpose of travel to authorities.
Prabhjeet Singh, Director-Operations and Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, said in a press statement,
“In conformity with government guidelines, we urge people to stay safe and discourage non-essential travel. Through Uber Essential, we are selectively offering rides for essential services only to cater to crucial travel requirements in select cities. Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, we are leveraging our technology and network of driver-partners to enable citizens to access essential services, while simultaneously also helping authorities contain the spread of COVID-19.’’
The Uber Essential driver-partners are being provided with masks, gloves, sanitisers, and safety training. They’re also being issued curfew passes by local law enforcement authorities to ensure seamless movement to essential service locations.
Riders in these cities can open the app to check the availability of Uber Essential in their area and accessible locations nearby. The app has been designed to facilitate urgent travel needs to essential service areas only and has been live for the past few days.
Recently, the ecommerce giant Flipkart announced a partnership with ride-hailing company Uber to provide people access to everyday essentials across Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi, amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus which has been extended till May 3.
The ride-hailing giant had also launched 'UberMedic' to help transport frontline healthcare workers to medical facilities and other critical areas across India.
Uber earlier also announced the launch of its fund for driver partners. It said the driver-partners on its platform have started receiving the first batch of grants from Rs 25 crore deposited by the company into the Uber Care Driver Fund. The fund has been created in partnership with the social enterprises Give India and Samhita.
Edited by Kanishk Singh