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Uber testing emergency hotline to help riders who feel stuck in a dangerous situation on the roads

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 17, 2016)-- Uber is testing an emergency hotline system to help customers who might be in a dangerous situation.

“Thank you for calling Uber’s critical response safety line. If you require immediate police or medical attention, hang up and call 911,” is what you would hear on the other end of the line if you call the hotline.

“I use Uber pretty frequently though and I have never had a situation that was rough, but I try not to take Uber alone,” said rider Taylor Corlier.

The 1-800-353-UBER number being tested out in 22 cities puts you directly in touch with a customer support representative.

Safety issues have not been uncommon for the ride sharing company. Earlier this week we told you about an Indianapolis woman who says she was held against her will when an Uber driver would not let her out of the car. She called 911 from the backseat and had no idea there was an Uber emergency hotline number. Last month, Jason Bryan Dalton shot and killed six people and injured two others while driving on his Uber route in Kalamazoo Michigan.

Many passengers tried to report Dalton’s erratic behavior and were only able to write in a complaint. Uber says they are working on more safety features for riders to use to ensure they feel safe, secure, and know they someone to talk to if they have an issue on the road.

“I have a lot of friends that use Uber and I think just out of safety and precaution they would call the hotline in case of an emergency,” said Corlier.

Uber says they will test the application extensively before making it widely available. Right now the hotline service doesn’t serve Indiana riders. Uber also wants drivers and riders to use the hotline for emergency purposes only.

Uber sent us this statement:

"We are always looking for ways to improve communication with our community. In select U.S. cities, we have a pilot program where riders and drivers can reach an Uber support representative by phone for assistance with an urgent situation after a trip."


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