The Washington Post reports, “Uber has disclosed that 3,000 sexual assaults were reported on its U.S. rides last year, the first time it has revealed the scale of the safety problem that exists at ride-hailing companies.” According to the Post, “The reported assaults were part of Uber’s long-awaited safety study, published Thursday amid widespread and ongoing criticism of its safety practices and pressure to increase its transparency about the issue.” The Post adds, “In the lengthy report, which divides sexual misconduct into 21 categories but focuses on the five most serious, Uber said it recorded 235 rapes last year and thousands more reports of assault that could involve unwanted touching, kissing or attempted rape. The reports involved drivers and passengers. The company tallied roughly 6,000 reports of those types of assault in 2017 and 2018.” The report “also examined other safety categories, including motor-vehicle deaths and violent crimes such as physical assaults.”
Uber and Lyft both have touted big changes to their networks to address safety concerns, spending millions of dollars and adding teams of people devoted to the issues. They also have made improvements to their apps and said they have increased screening and background checks for drivers — something Uber said resulted in more than 1 million prospective drivers being weeded out over the two-year report period.
Lyft has faced lawsuits from at least 34 women in San Francisco who allege they were raped or sexually assaulted on rides booked through the app.