Despite relaxations in the lockdown restrictions across cities, Uber and Ola drivers continue to struggle in Mumbai. With close to zero income, drivers say that they are forced to choose between paying EMIs on their cars and feeding their families. They claim no support from the government or the companies.
However, Uber, in a statement to CNBC-TV18, said that to help driver-partners during the pandemic, it created the Uber Care Driver Fund, with an initial commitment of Rs 25 crore. For greater impact, Uber welcomed contributions from its employees, citizens, NGOs and corporate partners to the fund.
"We have disbursed grants to approximately 100,000 drivers. Uber’s financial package has been warmly acknowledged by thousands of drivers. It is in addition to other livelihood opportunities we created for them during the lockdown," said an Uber spokesperson.
Further, Uber added that driver safety has continued to be one of its key priorities. "We recently introduced a comprehensive set of safety measures such as the Go Online Checklist and a mandatory mask policy for both riders and drivers, pre-trip mask verification selfies for drivers, mandatory driver education around Covid-19 related safety protocols, and an updated cancellation policy where both riders and driver can cancel trips if they don’t feel safe," the spokesperson said.
"All Uber driver-partners are strongly advised to disinfect their cars before every trip, and we have pioneered a protective plastic sheeting that acts as a barrier to safeguard riders and driver-partners," he added.