A lady commuter: Why aren’t the Government doing the same to regulate Uber and Grab drivers

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Dear Editor

About one month ago I decided to try Uber X. I was shocked when the driver turned up in shorts and tee. I was taken aback. But I was in a rush, So I quickly and silently took a picture of him, (Attached with photo) “whatsapped” to my mom and gone ahead with the plan.

Uber X came is shorts and tee-shirt

Uber X came is shorts and tee-shirt

The driver was chatty. He asked me was I staying in that place that he picked me up. Where am I working? What was I working as? etc. I did not really answer him as I was preparing my presentation with my Ipad. I was happy that I reached the destination smoothly. I thanked him and rushed out quickly to my appointment.

Then last week, I was shocked to see in the paper that GrabTaxi, Uber block phone contact numbers to ensure privacy. (http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/grabtaxi-uber-block-phone-contact-numbers-to-ensure-privacy)

Straits Time reported that a passenger’s routine 20-minute journey home with a private-hire car last month turned out to be a harrowing ride with a flirtatious driver who not only asked her out to lunch, but also sent the digital marketing consultant a text at 2 am to wish her goodnight.

This is a terrible news to all ladies who had used both Uber and Grab services. Yes, both companies have taken steps to stop this malpractice. But my question is what about those phone numbers that were already in the hand of those unscrupulous drivers. And I remembered that I had innocently answered yes to my Uber X drivers when he asked if I am I staying at the place that he picked me up. So the stark reality is, this stranger knows where I stay and has my personal phone number. Thinking about this makes me worry.

Also, I don’t know how truth this is, but I saw many comments on Facebook saying that Uber and Grab actually accepts foreigner as drivers.

A search on Google also shows other infringements by Uber drivers in other countries as well. And unfortunately, the victims are mostly female.

So, my next question is, why didn’t the government do something? If they can regulate the taxi drivers, why aren’t they doing the same to Uber and Grab drivers. Many people think this phone number incident is an isolated case. But there could be something else. Perhaps, a strange camera installed at a strange spot in the car? So does the government really need a tragedy to happens to justify for further action?

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