Uber went public earlier this week, amidst recent controversy surrounding imposter Uber drivers. A little over a month ago, Samantha Josephson was murdered after getting into a car that she perceived to be her Uber. Samantha’s parents have started the campaign #WhatsMyName, to implore passengers to check both the license plate of the vehicle, and the face of the driver. Uber is also currently under suit in relation to a series of rapes occurring in the Los Angeles area last year. The suit is being brought against Uber, by three women who all refer to themselves as “Jane Doe.” These women were three of nine women assaulted last year as a result of imposter Uber drivers. They argue that Uber has not made a concerted effort to publicize this growing threat.
While it is important to raise awareness of the issue, and helpful to remind women of the measures they can take to ensure their own safety, this responsibility for this issue cannot fall solely on Uber’s passengers. For young women, Uber often seems like the safer option when weighed against public transportation, or walking. In light of recent events: is there any safe choice to make? Despite all the reminders to check faces and plates, stick together, avoid excessive drinking, etc., sexual assaults still occur. Shouldn’t the responsibility fall on the shoulders of an $82.4 Billion Dollar company to extend its safety measures beyond simply reminding its passengers to check plates and faces? While it is important to instruct women on how to stay safe, it is also imperative that a company ensure the safest environment for its customers.