Uber sees green shoots of recovery; riders close to pre-COVID levels but budget travel gets more popular

As economic activities start to resume after months of remaining in one of the strictest lockdowns across the world, the ridership has also started to reach pre-COVID levels.

Ride-hailing application Uber has started to witness green shoots of recovery after months of lull amid coronavirus pandemic. As economic activities start to resume after months of remaining in one of the strictest lockdowns across the world, the ridership has also started to reach pre-COVID levels. Budget and low-cost means of travelling such as auto and motorcycles are recovering at a faster rate than other means, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. “As cities open and rider demand increases, the auto category is recovering at a faster growth rate with cities like Delhi almost returning to 80% of pre-COVID levels, followed by Jaipur and Chandigarh,” Uber said.

With the coronavirus pandemic hitting the world, consumers across the globe have become skeptical of using public spaces, forcing companies to realign their priorities along safety and hygiene. Uber is no different and according to the company, over the last few months, it has made “substantial investments” for safety supplies for drivers, fitted safety screens for auto rickshaws, and implemented solutions to ensure riders and drivers feel safer while on a trip. 

The company now looks to launch its operations in new cities with autos in focus. “With our comprehensive in-app safety measures, reliable door-to-door service and affordable prices, we are confident that Autos will unlock demand as we scale up our service in new cities across India,’’ Shiva Shailendran, General Manager, North and West India, Uber, said. In the view of the pandemic, the company introduced safety rules such as go online checklist, mandatory masks for both riders and drivers, pre-trip mask verification selfies for drivers, etc. The company also allocated $50 million for its operations around the globale to purchase safety supplies such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays etc.  

Meanwhile, Uber reported a $1.8 billion loss in the recently ended quarter as the coronavirus pandemic hit its shared-ride business revenue. Uber’s global ride-hailing operations have been hard hit by the coronavirus lockdowns across the globe and the company reported a bookings decline by 75%.

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