More than 3,000 Uber passengers reported sexual assaults in 2018, the ride-sharing company revealed in its first-ever safety report on Friday. Nine passengers were murdered and 58 riders were killed in crashes last year, the report said.
These incidents, which include 229 rapes, represent just a fraction of the more than 1.3bn rides Uber facilitated in the US in the past year, but they come at a time when the company is increasingly under scrutiny for worker and rider safety conditions.
“The numbers are jarring and hard to digest,” Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, told the New York Times. “What it says is that Uber is a reflection of the society it serves.”
In 2017, the company counted 2,936 reported sexual assaults during 1bn US trips. Uber bases its numbers on reports from riders and drivers, meaning the actual numbers could be much higher. Sexual assaults commonly go unreported.
The ride-hailing company noted that drivers and riders were both attacked, and that some assaults occurred between riders.
“I suspect many people will be surprised at how rare these incidents are; others will understandably think they’re still too common,” Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, tweeted about the report. “Some people will appreciate how much we’ve done on safety; others will say we have more work to do. They will all be right.”
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