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Friday, 5 June 2015

Mumbai woman complains on social media of rude behaviour by Uber driver.........


MUMBAI: Close on the heels of a woman being molested by a Uber Cab driver in Delhi last Saturday, there is yet another incident in Mumbai wherein a woman passenger has complained of "misbehaviour" by a Uber driver this week.
The woman victim, in a complaint posted on Facebook, said she along with her colleagues had booked a cab from Lower Parel to the western suburbs for which she got an Innova. "At Juhu circle few of my friends got off the signal to which the Uber driver objected and said 'yeh Mumbai darshan nahi hai' (this is not a joyride). We had not changed our route nor said anything to him.

"But his voice became louder. He told us 'tum logo ke liye kaali peeli hi achchi hai, Uber ki aukat nahi hai (you all are fit for black and yellow cabs, do not have the status to travel by Uber)," she stated in her complaint to Uber. The driver also allegedly threatened the passengers and behaved in a rowdy fashion, she said. Enroute, he tried to remove something from the glove compartment and the passengers became cautious. "When we got down, he continued shouting and then drove off — leaving us stranded. I did not find the cab journey safe, secure and convenient at all," the woman alleged.

Uber in response to the complaint stated : "We are sorry to hear about this and we have begun our investigations. This kind of experience is absolutely not the type that we strive to deliver to Uber users — rest assured, action will be taken on a priority." It is not clear what happened in the probe and whether action was taken against the driver.

The incident, however, once again raises questions on safety of women commuters in taxis provided by aggregators. After the first incident of rape in an Uber Cab in Delhi in December, the then Maharashtra transport commissioner Mahesh Zagade had taken serious cognisance and directed all cab aggregators in Mumbai to install new security systems — panic button, GPS, etc — and get the driver bonafides checked by cops. But now with Zagade's exit, it is not clear whether the security measures will continue to be strictly enforced.

Sources in the transport commissioner office, however, said that the new chief — Sonia Sethi — was keen on ensuring women safety in all taxis. "She is likely to call for a meeting of all fleetcab operators and taxi aggregators to take a review on the existing security systems. She has zero tolerance for rogue drivers," said an official.


During Zagade's tenure, it was perhaps for the first time that hundreds of taxi drivers were getting their antecedents verified by Mumbai police. Zagade also summoned the taxi aggregators on at least four occasions, asking them to install driver-neutral GPS, have "live tracking" of all cabs, a SOS feature in mobile app and physical panic buttons inside taxis. The last meeting on April 22 was incomplete. He had then advised all aggregators to discuss among themselves and with the GPS service providers, how to go about installing the GPS in all cabs and monitor the movement of taxis. Apparently, he was also looking at the feasibility of sharing trip details in real-time with the police.


Said a source from transport commissioner office, "We want every taxi, be it a fleetcab or one provided by the aggregator, to have a driver-neutral GPS. This GPS system should not be accessible to the driver and should be fitted near the engine of the car. In case there is any kind of tampering, there should be an alarm sent to the control room so that a SOS team can swing into action."