In the past six months, rideshare carjackings have increased significantly in the past six months. In an effort to protect drivers, Lyft has announced increased security measures.
The new feature requests an extra layer of account verification from riders who use anonymous payment methods, like prepaid cards, gift cards, Venmo, or PayPal. Lyft has decided to add this feature because those payment methods are often used fraudulently. In addition to that new feature, Lyft drivers will also have access to an emergency help system support by ADT. ADT has the ability to alert authorities to arrive at a driver’s location and provide ride details.
Lyft also plans to provide real-time tracking so drivers can share their location with friends and family, as well as a system called a Smart Trip Check-In. With that system, drivers will be notified if something seems off about the ride. This includes rides that end early, rides that are canceled after pickup, and rides that go off-route or stop for an abnormal period of time.
Currently, Chicago police are not sure how many separate carjacking victims were rideshare drivers, but they believe gig workers make up a large percentage of victims. Recently, two drivers, Javier Ramos and Joe Schelstraete, were killed in separate carjacking instances.
Uber is also taking steps to protect drivers. The company announced a mandate that requires new accounts using anonymous forms of payment to upload an ID. The Gig Workers Alliance wants all riders to upload pictures, just like drivers have to.
In addition to the new security improvement, drivers are still looking for assistance from rideshare companies. Uber and Lyft still consider their workers to be independent contractors. Many drivers believe that they would receive a better wage and increased safety if they were classified as employees.
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