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Taxi alternative Uber is responding to public concerns that its drivers are not adequately screened for past criminal convictions by promising to focus on rider safety.

Uber's head of global safety wrote in a blog post Wednesday that in 2015 the company will "build new safety programs and intensify others."

The initiatives will include new ways to screen drivers and the creation of teams that can rapidly respond to safety-related reports.

The blog referenced a case in India in which a driver was accused of raping a passenger. It didn't mention a lawsuit filed by California prosecutors which says the company's safety checks of drivers fall short.

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— The Associated Press