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Uber, the popular ride-sharing app has just announced two new products in India. Dubbed as uberACCESS and uberASSIST the products have first gone live in Bengaluru and is supported by Mphasis, a leading IT solutions provider, as a part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.
With an aim to address day-to-day transportation requirements of senior citizens and those with accessibility needs, riders can request uberASSIST rides now and will soon be able to book uberACCESS rides-on-demand. Trained and certified by Diversity and Equal Opportunity Centre (DEOC), all driver-partners are equipped with required skills to assist passengers with accessibility needs as well as those who need additional assistance during their ride.
Talking more about the new services, uberACCESS an Asia-first launch for Uber in Bangalore is a forward-facing wheelchair accessible product. This option offers 50 retrofitted vehicles, with heightened roof and hydraulic wheelchair lift on-demand.
Whereas, uberASSIST is an option for those who require additional assistance - such as senior citizens and people with accessibility needs, including those who may just feel more comfortable with extra assistance when getting from door-to-door. A fleet of 500 uberASSIST vehicles accommodate most foldable wheelchairs.
Announcing the launch, Amit Jain, President, Uber India and South Asia said, "At Uber, we believe in creating transportation options that fit every rider's need. The launch of uberASSIST and uberACCESS furthers our efforts in this direction. We are excited to partner with, and thank, Mphasis for playing a key role in helping us bring this idea to life. We aim to make these services available in more cities across the country."
Mphasis, through its CSR arm, Mphasis F1 Foundation, has done some pioneering work to create equal opportunities for persons with disabilities to access systems, services, and resources. In line with the same commitment, Mphasis F1 Foundation and Uber have joined hands to launch uberACCESS and uberASSIST initiative.
"Over the years, Mphasis has pioneered various high impact initiatives in creating a barrier-free environment - be it through innovative services, policy advocacy or supporting accessible technology solutions. We combined our financial aid with a data-driven, strategic focus - the essential inputs for creating sustainable and scalable impact in our communities. I am glad my team approached Uber with this idea and together we are committed to the cause of bringing innovative solutions that enhance opportunities for everyone." said Nitin Rakesh, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Mphasis.
uberACCESS vehicles are rear-entry, which means that riders face forward when they're traveling, unlike other wheelchair-accessible vehicles which require riders to face sideways or backward. All uberACCESS vehicles have four-point tie-down straps, which are used to secure the wheelchair to the floor to ensure it stays put during the trip. uberACCESS and uberASSIST are one of the most-affordable ride options for people with accessibility needs.
Furthermore, riders will have access to a load of smart features to ensure they are in control. Being able to track the ride real time, ability to share ETA and allowing friends and family to follow the trip remotely are some of the features that can help riders feel more in control of their journey.
uberASSIST and uberACCESS are not ambulance services, but a new choice for riders in need of assistance during their daily travels, whether they are riders with special needs or senior citizens.
To access uberASSIST/uberACCESS in Bengaluru:
- Open the Uber app.
- Enter destination.
- Slide to the right and select uberASSIST/uberACCESS.
- Confirm pick-up location and request ride.