Safety Measures for Female Employee Transportation

A 20-year-old female passenger was travelling in the car to meet her friend which was a 45-minute drive. During the drive, she sent her friend a message with the word “help,” after which her mobile phone was switched off and she disappeared. Post interrogation the police found out that the driver had taken her to the mountainous route during the drive, raped and stabbed her and then pushed her off a cliff.

This is every fleet aggregator’s nightmare. It is difficult to guarantee safety despite multiple technology interventions and background verification procedures. But it is possible to streamline technology and on-ground systems to ensure a proactive approach to safety that ensures a disaster is averted almost every time. Here’s how Routematic fleet service does it effectively.

Routematic provides Transportation services to Corporates who extend transportation as a perk to its employees. Routematic’s service consist of a SaaS platform that helps the corporate plan, deploy and manage transportation. However, given the unorganized nature of the cab services in India, technology by itself is not sufficient to solve a problem.  Therefore,  Routematic recently forayed into fleet aggregation as well. A combination of technology and on-ground operations creates a level of reliability, predictability and affordability that has never been witnessed in Corporate Fleet Management in India. In addition to equipping passenger with safety features, Routematic also ensures that  the vehicle and driver being used are also safe and compliant to mitigate any residual risk. Following are the reasons why it is unlikely that the above incident might ever happen with Routematic services.

  1. Routematic invests in ensuring the reliability of Drivers
    1. Each driver goes through multiple Background Verifications before their cabs in inducted into the system.
    2. Drivers undergo a half a day training program during induction on technology usage and general etiquette
    3. Cabs are inducted onto the platform on a monthly lease model to create a consistently managed marketplace.
    4. Driver attrition is usually high in other vendors because of delay in payments to drivers. At Routematic, drivers are paid on time because of our automated billing system. Therefore, our cab retention is significantly higher than other fleet vendors. This justifies the additional cost of training and verification system in place.
  1. Routematic’s fleet management technology has inherent fleet deployment rules for safety planning
    1. It is mandatory that female employees are never alone with the driver during the trip in dark hours. All routes are planned to ensure that there is always another male co-passenger in the car during night times. If the female employee is travelling alone, an escort guard is mandatory to be present during the service. The escort guard needs to ‘check-in’ onto a mobile app to confirm attendance in a trip with a female passenger.
    2. Routematic’s system deactivates cabs that are not compliant. If a cab vendor’s insurance or license or badge is supposed to expire in 15 days, he gets an SMS and email reminder to renew. If he does not renew and update Routematic, he is automatically barred from the system until he furnishes a renewed document
    3. Routematic fleet uses GPS to track its vehicles. If a GPS device goes offline during a trip, Routematic uses the driver’s phone GPS to track the vehicle. A vehicle without a GPS device does not get any trip. A GPS device is concealed in the car, therefore cannot be tampered with easily. While a phone can be easily disconnected to limit cab tracking ability.
  1. Routematic’s technology has several security features during trip execution
    1. Every Routematic vehicle has a physical panic button and the Routematic app has a soft panic button as well. Once an alarm is raised, the Corporate travel desk is notified immediately. Usually, the corporate does a first level investigation and reports to the security team and the police to act immediately.
    2. All female only cabs are tracked separately. A web interface constantly monitors the vehicle for a stoppage or over speeding. The transport team can monitor the vehicles closely
    3. Call masking facility ensures that the female employee can contact the driver without sharing her phone number
    4. Every female employee gets an automated IVR call for safe drop confirmation if she does not ‘checkout’ from her app when she reaches her home drop location. If the IVR call does not connect, the transport team is notified to take appropriate action.

Now coming back to the previous example. Firstly, since the lady was travelling alone, in a Routematic tech enable cab, an authorised guard would be deployed in the trip. The cab & driver will be compliant with an active GPS device tracking the cab at all times. In case of a problem, the lady will activate the panic button to notify the corporate transport desk of emergency. Since GPS tampering takes over 15 mins for a specialist, the corporate team will have enough time to identify the location and deploy emergency procedures. In the scenario that no alarm was raised, the hot tracking panel for the female only vehicle will indicate a route deviation, which the transport team will notice and take subsequent action