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Henry Bilinski discusses new Uber service UberASSIST

UberASSIST Henry Bilinski

After the news earlier this month that global transportation network Uber are set to face opposition from transport authority Transport for London (TFL), the app-led taxi company are set to introduce new services this year.

Uber, good or bad?

Uber has, for the last few years been the subject of much controversy across the globe. Whilst offering taxi solutions at low prices for users, Uber have been subject to a large number of lawsuits and protests. The legality of the Uber business model has often been challenged by both taxi companies and governments – who allege that its use of unlicensed drivers is unsafe and illegal.

HATS Group

At HATS, we consider our team to be of the highest importance when it comes to delivering first-class services. We believe that state-of-the-art training and staff development is key to everything we do. So when we see some of the allegations facing Uber, it’s hard not have reservations.

Despite the problems facing Uber, the multi-national taxi company are continuing in their aim to deliver fast and reliable transport, with the introduction of a brand new service for disabled users. But just how good will the service be?

UberASSIST

Following on from their UberX, Exec and UberXL services, for regular, larger and more comfortable taxis, Uber have just announced they will be launching UberASSIST – a brand new service developed for disabled users.

This news comes after worries about the company’s future in London – as new private transport proposals could see Uber’s fast-paced booking system under threat.

According to Uber, people using folding wheelchairs, scooters and walking frames will soon be able to order suitable vehicles using the Uber app, at the same rates of the company’s lowest price UberX. But the problem is, will disabled users be safe using the service?

Disability equality course

Uber has made a statement confirming that all UberASSIST drivers will have to complete a disability equality course developed by charities Transport for All and Inclusion London before operating on the service. But will any other safeguarding procedures be in place? Attending an equality course is one thing, but will UberASSIST drivers be required to hold any other additional qualifications to operate?

As disabled transport is such a wide area, there are many health and safety concerns to take into account. And without any other details regarding required qualifications and training, there’s no knowing what the standard of care will be like on Uber’s new service.

At HATS our drivers regularly take part in training when working with disabled passages. Our employees receive training in First Aid and Driving Awareness, and many of our services run with specialist Passenger Assistants for wheelchair users and older transport users. My worry with Uber, is that their UberASSIST drivers may be under prepared when it comes to disabled transport. But will we have to wait to hear more about the service.

You can find out more about UberASSIST right now via Business Insider.

Until next time.

Henry Bilinski.

About the Author

Henry Bilinski is the UK Chief Executive Officer for the Health and Transport Services (HATS) Group/Olympic South Ltd based in Wimbledon.

Henry is a highly experienced Chief Executive with over 30 years’ experience working in the transport and logistics industry. Having acted as a Dispatch Rider, Operations Controller, Managing Director, Owner and CEO for a number of different organisations throughout his career, Henry is an expert in his field.