Embattled taxi service company Uber has announced major changes which it hopes will allay public concerns in the wake of scandals that have occurred around the world. The announcement comes as news has broken of yet another allegation of rape brought against an Uber driver, this time in Boston.
A 46-year-old Boston Uber driver was arrested earlier this month for the alleged kidnapping and rape of a Cambridge woman who had requested a ride home from Tremont Street, according to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office, Bostinno reported. Instead of taking her to the requested location, the Uber driver went somewhere else, where the victim says he choked and raped her after locking the car doors so that she could not escape.
“This is a despicable crime, ” Kaitlin Durkosh, spokesperson for Uber, said in a statement emailed to The Huffington Post. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim during her recovery. Uber has been working closely with law enforcement and will continue to do everything we can to assist their investigation.”
There were similar such incidents earlier in the year in New Delhi and Los Angeles.
Uber has already been forced to suspend operations in Spain, Paris, India and Nevada.
In a blog post the company said, “In November, Uber’s safety team began a global review to assess the areas where greater investment is required. As we look to 2015, we will build new safety programs and intensify others.”
Uber says that it is improving its system for background checks of drivers, while explaining that in many countries this is not an easy task. “We are exploring new ways to screen drivers globally, using scientific analysis and technology to find solutions, ” it said.
The company also said that it is investing in the research & development on biometrics and voice verification for the identification of its drivers. This is supposed to let passengers feel more secure.
It is also adding advisory and training partnerships to educate its drivers on proper behavior towards women.
This will certainly seem like a case of too little too late to the woman who was raped by an Uber driver in Boston on December 6th. Uber driver Alejandro Done, 46, was arraigned on Wednesday on charges of rape and kidnapping.