UberX imposes $1 ‘safe ride fee’

UberX Safety Fee ImageRide-sharing company UberX has begun adding a new charge to its fare, charging an extra $1 per trip, with the hopes of using the funds to improve customer and pedestrian safety. The fee will be used for background checks, motor vehicle checks, security development, insurance, and driver education, among other things. The fee will be included on all fares in United States cities. UberX will put the “safe ride fee” on a separate line than the cost of the fare, in order to maintain pricing transparency. This safety push comes after recent incidents regarding the independent contractors the service hires as drivers. A few months back, UberX discovered that not all of their employees had passed criminal background checks, and resolved to re-screen all employees. More recently, a six-year-old girl was hit by an Uber car on New Year’s Eve; her family is pressing charges against the company and the driver. The company has also improved its insurance policies following the accident, ensuring that all drivers will be insured regardless of whether they are carrying a fare or not. Previously, drivers were only covered when a passenger was in the car. “The whole Uber team is committed to continue innovating, refining and working diligently to ensure Uber is always the safest experience on the road,” wrote Alex Priest, community manager, on the official company blog. The price increase may cause confusion and competition, however, as UberX recently announced a feature to find cheaper fares for passengers, against their own policy of setting high fares during times of higher demand. The extra fee also increases the cost of the service, while Uber’s largest competitor has begun dropping fare prices during times when demand is down. photo credit: thezartorialist.com via photopin cc]]>

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