Uber rolls out new safety features

Local

Uber is doling out several new safety features in order to better protect riders and drivers.

Friday night on Lark Street means many people will be using Uber to get to and from bars. The popular ride-hailing app is rolling out in several cities.

“I’ve heard some scary stories, which as an Uber user makes you weary of wanting to use it,” Nicole Hinman said.

The new measures include an emergency button and “ride check,” which uses GPS to flag stops lasting for an extended amount of time.

“If I were going home, and I were suddenly being taken off route, I would freak out,” Michael Varrato said.

Varrato said it’s a welcomed added protection as he puts his safety in drivers’ hands after indulging in a few drinks.

“If I’ve had too many, I used to call a cab,” he said. “Now, I use Uber strictly, and I leave my car here.”

“Sometimes I order Ubers for customers just if they’re a little too drunk, and they need a safe way to get home,” bartender Olivia Salisbury said.

But after the late night shenanigans are over and the bars close, those doing the serving are also looking forward to the added layer of security.

“Usually, everyone is pretty nice; everyone’s pretty genuine,” Salisbury said. “I’ve only had one or two really weird Ubers.”

“It’s just, you know, you want to be safe and you don’t want to put yourself or anyone else in harm, so you take Uber when you’re drinking, and you can always, usually, count on a reliable way home,” Hinman said.

The protections aren’t in the Capital Region, yet, but many hope it comes soon.

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