Three months after soft-launched service in its 100th city of Beijing, Uber introduced a new product to the city–People’s Uber, a no-profit ridesharing service. This service is available now during trial period in Beijing, according to the company.
Using the same Uber app, riders can share a car by opening the app, connecting with the driver to confirm their destination, and jumping in.
Drivers are fellow Beijingers vetted by Uber and rated by users after every trip. Any private car driver with driving license, proper annual inspection on their vehicles and car insurance can join the platform, while the age of their cars should be less than five years. Uber will offer training services to registered drivers.
Since People’s Uber is a no-profit platform, drivers should not charge riders higher than their driving costs and Uber will give a reference price in the app when a ride finished. According to Uber Beijing representative Ben, for-profit ridesharing services are illegal under the laws prescribed by Beijing municipality.
Such an on-demand ridesharing service seems to be quite a fit in Beijing, a city known for its scale and also troubled by rising emissions and severe road congestion. As one the biggest cities in China, Beijing has over 20 million residents and 5 million cars on the rings and hutongs.
At current stage, the U.S. car-summoning startup did not come up with a clear plan on who will take the responsibilities, the drivers or the riders, when an accident happens.
Similar Chinese car sharing startups like PP Zuche and Baojia solve the problem by cooperating with third-party insurance companies to cover expenses for accidents.
image credit: Uber