July 21, 2024
Cartoon of a police car in the middle of a downtown with the word SAFETY in glowing light blue neon
Uber driver unknowingly caught in a drug bust in Bangor, raises questions about driver safety and company policies. Uber responds.

By now, you’ve probably seen the WABI story about the drug bust on Larkin Street. It’s important to emphasize that the Uber driver featured in the story was an innocent bystander – simply providing a ride and unknowingly caught in the middle of a dangerous situation.

The story highlighted a concerning statement from the driver, who alleged that Uber penalizes drivers for refusing rides based on safety concerns. To gain further insight, I reached out to Uber for clarification on this important issue. Here’s the statement I received from an Uber spokesperson:

“This driver’s experience is truly frightening. The safety of drivers and riders on the Uber platform is one of our top priorities, which is why we’ve invested in technology to raise the bar on safety, including features like the Emergency Button, and “Live Help” from a safety agent. We encourage drivers to cancel trips if they feel unsafe – canceling a trip at pickup for safety reasons does not count against a driver’s cancellation rate. Drivers should also trust their instincts by reporting anything suspicious or unsafe to law enforcement, and to Uber.”

If you are an Uber driver, or know someone who is, please share this information. It’s vital that drivers are aware of their rights and the safety measures in place. If a driver has been penalized for canceling trips out of safety concerns, they need to reach out to Uber to rectify the situation.

Uber also provided a YouTube video about Uber’s Law Enforcement and Public Safety Response Portal.

Uber’s Presence in Bangor

Uber is available as an alternative to the bus system for Bangor residents and visitors alike. The ride-hailing service fills gaps in public transportation and provides an additional way to get around the city, especially for those without personal vehicles. Its popularity highlights a growing need for flexible and accessible transportation solutions within the community.

Interestingly, Uber is also mentioned in the Bangor International Airport’s (BGR) Master Plan. This suggests that the city and airport authorities recognize the role that ride-hailing services play in modern transportation. Looking forward, we may see a more integrated approach with services like Uber becoming a key part of Bangor’s transportation infrastructure.