There has been a lot of talk about whether it’s safe to try the increasingly ubiquitous ride-share services like Uber and Lyft. Recently, changes have been announced that will affect these companies. One development might work in their favor, the other could hurt business.
First, the relatively good news-- the D.C. Council passed a bill to regulate these services-- which is quite the opposite of what traditional taxi drivers were hoping for. The measure passed 12-1 and imposes new commercial insurance requirements on these private vehicle-for-hire drivers. Uber and Lyft drivers will now have to undergo criminal background checks that look back 7 years. The companies will also be asked to implement a zero-tolerance policy for using drugs and alcohol. In addition, they will be required to display a decal so the cars can be identified, and drivers who are accused of picking up an illegal street hail will have to let inspectors examine their phones.
The council said their goal was to promote fair competition and to create a level playing field. The Taxi Operators Association says the bill doesn’t go far enough. Uber’s spokesperson called D.C. a trailblazer in the transportation industry.
As one barrier falls, another pops up.
Quinnipiac University in Connecticut is banning Uber from campus over concerns that their background checks aren’t extensive enough. According to the company their screening process is rigorous, using county, federal and multi-state checks, as well as continuous reviews of drivers’ motor vehicle records.
Still, the university says it’s not worth the risk. As you might imagine, local taxi companies are thrilled by the announcement.
So what do you think? Do your feel confident that these companies do enough to protect their customers? If not, what would be enough? Comment below and join the conversation.
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