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Uber Launches Campus Safety Initiative After SC Student’s Death And LA Sexual Assaults

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter

Uber announced a campus safety initiative Thursday after the death of a South Carolina college student and lawsuits in Los Angeles resulting from a flurry of fake Uber drivers.

Uber partnered with the University of South Carolina for this Campus Safety Initiative as “a national effort to help students learn how to avoid fake rideshare drivers,” according to an Uber blog post by Andrew Macdonald, Vice President of Operations, Americas, released Thursday.

The move comes after the death of a South Carolina college student, a lawsuit related to alleged sexual assaults by fake Uber drivers, and a strike by Los Angeles drivers who claim they were underpaid.

“We were heartbroken by the recent crime committed by a fake rideshare driver in South Carolina,” Macdonald wrote in the blog post. “While no words can alleviate the loss felt by the Josephson family, we are committed to continuing to take action to make our communities safer.” (RELATED: Women Sue Uber For Alleged Negligence After 9 Assaults By Fake Uber Drivers)

“I am pleased to partner with Uber on a new Campus Safety Initiative along with other important advances,” University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, who just joined Uber’s Safety Advisory Board, told Uber in the blog post. “By promoting essential safety tips such as Check Your Ride and the university’s What’s My Name campaign, I truly believe we can help ensure ridesharing is safe for all students.”

Uber intends to increase rider awareness through education, intervention, a National Awareness Campaign, and Campus Rider Programs. They have also installed Safety Features within the app designed to help riders positively identify their ride.

 

Email to be sent to Uber riders, photo courtesy of Uber.

Email to be sent to Uber riders, photo courtesy of Uber.

Safety tips include emails, a notification on lock screens reminding riders to check their driver and notifications on the actual Uber app to always verify their ride information.

Uber’s new campaign also precedes the release their initial public offering. The company wants a valuation of $100 billion, second only to Alibaba’s 2014 $169 billion valuation.

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