We were heartbroken by the recent crime committed by a fake rideshare driver in South Carolina. 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.
Today, in partnership with the University of South Carolina, we are launching the Campus Safety Initiative: a national effort to help students learn how to avoid fake rideshare drivers.
University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, who we are honored to soon welcome to our Safety Advisory Board said, “I am pleased to partner with Uber on a new Campus Safety Initiative along with other important advances. 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.”
We want every rider to be safe when using Uber. That’s why we’ve been working hand-in-hand with law enforcement since 2016 to create rider safety tips and educate the public about our Check Your Ride steps. By partnering with universities and the communities we serve, we can do more.
Inspired by the University of South Carolina and its students, the Campus Safety Initiative will build public awareness of the Check Your Ride steps, use the Uber app to remind riders how to check their ride, and support campus rides programs at major colleges across the country. Here’s an overview:
- National Awareness Campaign: We’re sending every rider in the U.S. an email with the Check Your Ride steps. We’re also launching an awareness campaign on social media, and we’re placing ads in college newspapers and on billboards near entertainment districts across the country to educate students about these steps.
- On-Campus Education: We are teaming up with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) for a $100,000 partnership to help this important organization educate college students about the Check Your Ride tips.
- Bystander Intervention: We are working with law enforcement, entertainment districts and NO MORE to expand #DontStandBy, our bystander intervention partnership, to three new cities this month and across college campuses nationwide during the back-to-school season. Launched in 2018, #DontStandBy is designed to empower the nightlife community—patrons, bar staff and rideshare drivers—to look out for each other and help prevent gender-based violence before it happens.
SAFETY FEATURES IN THE APP
- Check Your Ride Push Notifications: We are adding a new push notification to remind riders of the Check Your Ride steps just before their car arrives. The alert will go live in Columbia, South Carolina, today and will roll out nationwide in the days ahead.
- Check Your Ride In-App Banner: We’re putting a clear message in the app, starting from the moment you get matched with a driver until the moment you start your trip, to remind you how to confirm the right car. We’ll keep this reminder in place for several weeks and initiate it periodically in the future.
CAMPUS RIDES PROGRAMS
- Dedicated Pickup Zones: We are partnering with the University of South Carolina and the Columbia Police Department to direct riders through the app to a dedicated pickup zone in the Five Points district where they can meet their driver. The well-lit area has law enforcement on hand to help riders and drivers connect safely and easily. In the coming months, we will engage major universities across the U.S. to do the same in dedicated zones selected by them.
- Campus Rides: Starting with the University of South Carolina, we will launch a new tool for universities across the country to provide service for students at hours when other options are limited or unavailable. Interested universities can submit their information here.
Using Uber safely starts with Checking Your Ride. Every time you take a trip with Uber, you can make sure you’re getting into the right car with the right driver by matching the license plate, car make and model, and the driver photo with what’s provided in the app.
In addition to these steps, you can also ask the driver to confirm your name. Your driver sees your name in their app, and your driver’s name is displayed in your app. To safely exchange names, you can ask, “Who are you here to pick up?” The driver may also ask you to confirm their name (“Who’s your driver?”) for their own peace of mind.
Our goal is to make checking your ride before you get in the car synonymous with using Uber. There is nothing more important than the safety of the people we serve and we’re constantly working to improve. Click here if you’re interested in learning more about our Campus Safety Initiative.