Uber Re-Enters Barcelona With Professional Driver Service

Uber Re-Enters Barcelona With Professional Driver Service

Uber is seeking a second chance in Barcelona three years after it was forced to shut down in the face of taxi driver protests – by introducing a fully licenced ride-hailing service that meets local transportation laws.

Its new UberX service will operate with hundreds of professional, licenced drivers in contrast to the UberPopservice it ran until late 2014 using non-professional drivers to pick up and drop off passengers, Uber said on Tuesday.

Uber is looking to make a clean break with business practices that resulted in a litany of regulatory battles, driver and consumer scandals and court cases.

“We made mistakes along the way,” Uber General Manager for Southwest Europe Carles Lloret said in a company blog post.

“We are changing the way we do business, putting integrity at the core of every decision we make and working hard to earn the trust of the cities in which we operate. Barcelona is no exception.”

Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi said in January he was focused on “responsible growth” as he seeks to put an end to the take-no-prisoners culture he inherited upon joining the pioneer of ride-hailing services last year.

Two years ago, Uber re-introduced UberX using professional drivers in Madrid. In December 2014, a judge had ordered all Uber services to be shut down in Spain’s capital city.

Decrying Uber’s return as unfair competition to their livelihoods, taxi drivers have mounted a series of 24-hour strikes in Madrid, Barcelona and other Spanish cities over the past year.

“We are fully committed to working with the entire sector – including taxis – to improve mobility in Barcelona together,” said Lloret.

San Francisco-based Uber pre-emptively closed its services in Barcelona in December 2014 as local officials geared up to pass legislation against the UberPop service, which city authorities legally barred the following year.

Protests by taxi associations over the past year against Uber have also targeted Madrid-based Cabify, a rival founded in 2012 that operates in Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

Uber operates a range of ride-hailing services in more than 600 cities around the world.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Uber Introduces UK Safety Measures Amid Licence Battle

Uber Introduces UK Safety Measures Amid Licence Battle

US ride-hailing app Uber on Friday announced new safety features for its service in Britain, as it appeals against the withdrawal of its licence in London.
The service, which has around 40,000 drivers in London, lost its licence over its reporting of serious criminal offences and its criminal-record checks for drivers, but is allowed to operate in the capital pending the appeal which is set to be heard later this year.

Uber will now “pro-actively” make reports of serious incidents related to a trip to the police, rather than encouraging individuals to contact authorities themselves, according to a statement on its website.

From next month, passengers will also receive the driver’s licence number in their booking confirmation, meaning passengers can more easily raise issues with the relevant licensing authority.

The app has already capped the number of hours its drivers can work in Britain in a bid to increase safety after heavy criticism of its business practices, and will set up a 24/7 telephone helpline for riders and drivers.

“We’re determined to change the way we do business, so we’ll carry on listening and plan to make other improvements over the coming months,” it said.
London’s transport authority said in September that it would not renew the ride-hailing company’s licence, with the appeal due to be heard in May or June.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Uber Ride Packages With Flat Fares Start Rolling Out in 7 Cities Across India

Uber Ride Packages With Flat Fares Start Rolling Out in 7 Cities Across India

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Uber Ride Packages is an evolution of UberPASS
  • The product is designed to offer flat-fare ride passes
  • Uber’s competitor Ola also developed a similar offering

To make daily commutes cheaper, Uber has launched Ride Packages in India. The latest feature that brings flat-fare ride passes to riders is initially rolling out for select riders in seven cities across the country. While riders in Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Kolkata can avail the flat fares on their UberGO and UberPREMIER rides, Chennai riders with the ride passes can only opt for UberGO rides. Each flat fare ride pass comes with a validity of up to 28 days and has a certain trip limit. Recently Uber’s closest competitor and one of the leading cab aggregators in the country, Ola, was also spotted with a similar feature that it called Ola Pass.

An Uber spokesperson divulged that the Ride Packages is an evolution of the UberPASS that was launched as a pilot in select riders in June last year. “We are always thinking of new ways to enhance the Uber experience for our riders. UberPASS was one such product that was launched as a pilot in select cities. It helped us better understand our riders’ needs and as a result, Uber recently rolled out a more enhanced product called Ride Packages,” the company said in a statement to Gadgets 360.

The prime aim of offering Ride Packages is to make rides more affordable than before. “Ride Packages is designed to address riders daily commute needs, making rides even more affordable,” the spokesperson said. It was first tested on UberGO riders in Bengaluru late last year.uber ride pass 050418 190431 5240 Uber Ride Pass  Uber

It is worth noting here that the Uber Ride Packages is not yet available for all users. However, we spotted its presence in Delhi and Mumbai. In the Mumbai region, riders can get flat fare UberGO rides at Rs. 199 and UberPREMIER rides at Rs. 159. The riders in the Delhi region, on the other hand, are offered with UberGO rides at Rs. 129, while UberPREMIER rides are available at a charge identical to what is available in Mumbai, which is Rs. 159. Initially, Paytm is the only payment option for the passes opted under the Ride Packages.

There is a Ride Pass menu option in the Uber app that provides access to flat fare ride passes. Once a pass is purchased, it will not be changed with another pass or refunded. The Help section on the Uber app confirms that if the total ride fare is less than the flat fare offered through one of the available passes, the company will charge you the minimum of the two amounts. Likewise, if the total fare is greater than the flat fare but less than the maximum cap, only the flat fare amount will be charged.

As per the FAQ seen in the app, Uber may charge wait time charges in addition to the flat fare amount. Also, we noticed surge pricing will still be applicable despite purchasing the flat-fare ride passes. We’ve reached out for more information on this front.

Similar to Uber Ride Packages, Ola last month started rolling out the Ola Pass subscription to offer flat fares in the country. Ola’s feature is listed as available for a select number of Ola Micro, Mini, and Prime rides and is available in a handful of cities, including Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, and Mumbai. Unlike Uber, Ola doesn’t apply peak pricing – its terminology for surge pricing – on Ola Pass flat fares. However, Ola has distance limits to the flat fares, from 5km to 20km, which Uber’s Ride Packages do not have.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Uber, Mahindra Partner to Deploy Electric Vehicles in India

Uber, Mahindra Partner to Deploy Electric Vehicles in India

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) will team up with Uber to explore deployment of electric vehicles (EVs) on the cab aggregator’s platform in several cities across India, the automaker said Friday.

The company, which has already tied up with Uber’s rival Ola to build an electric mass mobility ecosystem in Nagpur, will deploy “hundreds of electric vehicles in Delhi and Hyderabad” under the new partnership.

Mahindra’s electric vehicles on the Uber platform will include the e2oPlus hatch and the eVerito sedan.

“Our collaboration with Uber is an important next step to help accelerate the large scale adoption of electric vehicles on shared mobility platforms and meet the nation’s vision for EVs,” M&M Managing Director Pawan Goenka told reporters in Mumbai.

As part of this collaboration, both the companies will also explore deployment of Mahindra electric vehicles in other cities.

On the tie-up, Uber Chief Business Officer, India and Emerging Markets, Madhu Kannan said the company aims to build a more sustainable future of mobility, moving more people requiring on-demand services with fewer, fuller, and more efficient vehicle trips.

“We see a key role for high efficiency vehicle technologies and therefore, believe that this collaboration with Mahindra, the pioneers in the electric vehicles space, will be truly beneficial not just for Uber, but for our driver partners, riders and the cities we operate in,” he added.

As part of the arrangement, driver partners on the Uber app can avail of a package that will include Mahindra electric vehicles at competitive prices, attractive financing and insurance premiums as well as comprehensive maintenance packages from M&M and its associates.

Furthermore, to make this model durable, M&M and Uber will work closely with public and private players which are in the process of setting up a common use charging ecosystem across multiple locations in the cities.

M&M will also support driver education and training related to various aspects of electric vehicles.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]