Uber’s initiative to deliver “magical” experience back again for riders and drivers

K.R. Srivats | Updated on: May 19, 2022

Uber is committed listening to riders and drivers, says Uber India’s central operations head Nitish Bhushan

Ride-hailing major Uber on Thursday detailed the steps it has embarked upon to deliver back Uber magical experience for both drivers and riders, who have recently, by their actions and concerns, ensured that the fun in ride-hailing had dwindled in the Indian cities. 

While riders had to mostly put up with the upfront dreaded question of “Jana Kahan hain “ (where do you want to go) and then face cancellation of trips; long arrival times; and not wanting to switch on ACs, the drivers on their part, too, have shared their concerns about falling earnings due to higher fuel prices, long-distance pickups and payment schedules.

Nitish Bhushan, Head of Central Operations, Uber India and South Asia, said that Uber has now sought to tackle these concerns, especially for drivers, by addressing earnings amidst rising fuel costs; providing payments the way drivers want them; empowering drivers to make informed choices and addressing their concerns on long-distance pickups.

Uber fares are up

Over the past few weeks, Uber fares have been raised to cushion drivers from rising fuel prices across many cities, said Bhushan. “We are always striving to make driving with Uber a viable and attractive option for drivers and the recent hike in fares will directly boost their earnings per trip”, he said.

Payments flexibility

Bhushan highlighted that Uber is now showing drivers the mode of payment — cash or online before the trip starts. This enables 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 have now introduced a daily pay process for drivers. This will ensure that trip earnings from Monday to Thursday, are credited to drivers the next day, while earnings from Friday to Sunday, are credited on Monday”, Bhushan added.

Empowering drivers

Bhushan said that Uber understand the rider’s feeling when the driver calls and asks the dreaded question “Jana Kahan Hai” and then cancels the trip. 

To remove frustration for riders and drivers alike, Uber is now showing trip destinations to drivers before they decide to accept the ride. 

“In our attempt to incentivise right platform behaviour - drivers who meet a predefined trip acceptance threshold will be eligible to get the destination information so that they can make an informed choice. Upfront destination feature is already live across 20 cities and will be expanded to all others. Given this is a substantial change, we will continue monitoring feedback from drivers and riders, and iterating on these thresholds over the coming few weeks”, Bhushan added.

Long distance pick-ups

Uber has now introduced additional earnings for drivers if they have to travel a long distance to pick up riders.

This will give drivers the comfort to accept more trips and benefit riders as trip reliability goes up. “Drivers will be able to see the earnings for long pick-ups, separately displayed on the fare receipt. When drivers are few, and demand is high, this will help ensure that you can get a ride when you need one. Making Uber a reliable choice for riders at all times is our goal”, Bhushan said.

Bhushan expressed confidence that these changes will be appreciated by drivers, and it will, in turn, translate into better experience for our riders. “With these changes, we are also reinforcing service quality expectations with drivers especially in areas like cancellations and ensuring AC rides. In addition to driver notifications and training, repeated complaints from riders on these service quality essentials could lead to penalties and even restricted app access”, he said.

Published on May 19, 2022
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