Blog

 
     

Washington D.C. Cab Drivers Protest Unfair Background Check Legislation for Uber and Lyft

By Michael Klazema on 10/13/2014

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have already taken cities like Chicago and San Francisco by storm with their freelance, app-based twist on traditional taxi or chauffer services. Now, it looks as if Uber and similar services will soon be making their way to Washington D.C. However, cab drivers in the nation's capital may well have to dragged kicking and screaming, or, more accurately, honking and braking, into the brave new world of ridesharing services

D.C. cabbies are not the first group of cab drivers to speak out against services like Uber and Lyft. In virtually every city where these services have set up shop, taxi companies have dealt with decreases in business. That's because an increasing number of people are opting out of using traditional taxis and opting into the Uber/Lyft system, which allows passengers to book rides via a smartphone app. Uber and Lyft drivers are everyday Joe's and Jane's who make extra cash by using their cars as taxis.

However, while most cab drivers seem to be against Uber and Lyft because they are stealing business, that's not the case in D.C. On the contrary, several Washington cab drivers have said that they would welcome the business of Uber and Lyft in Washington…but only if those businesses registered with the city's Taxicab Commission.

Currently, the Washington D.C. is in the process of drafting legislation that would allow Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies to operate in Washington without Cab Commission membership. The legislation would require ridesharing companies to conduct background checks on all of their drivers. IT would also stipulate insurance requirements for each Uber and Lyft driver.

To an outsider, that might sound safe enough: keep criminals out of ridesharing services, and make sure that insurance policies are in place in case of an accident. However, D.C. cabbies don't think the proposed legislation would be safe or fair. The Taxicab Commission has a laundry list of stipulations for its drivers and vehicles, regulating everything from vehicle safety to training for taxicab operators.

As a result, the City Council's attempts to set new rules for Uber and Lyft's instead of making the companies adhere to existing rules maintained by the Taxicab Commission, reeks of preferential treatment for the new companies. Worse, it essentially undermines the regulations that the Cab Commission has spent years designing.

D.C. cabbies agree that the double standard is a ridiculous one, and recently took to blocking downtown city traffic and honking their horns in loud protest. Quite simply, these cab drivers believe that all chauffer services should follow the same rules—whether they are traditional cab companies or new, "in vogue" services like Uber and Lyft.

From all angles, it doesn't really make sense why City Councilmembers would want to create new sets of rules for Uber and Lyft when those services could so easily be beholden to the same rules and regulations already documented for the Taxicab Commission. This situation is especially questionable given the fact that incidents in other cities, from violent encounters to rapes, ”have shown that Uber and Lyft's background checks aren't necessarily enough to keep passengers safe. The more in-depth regulations that would be imposed by the Cab Commission might be a good test case for seeing if there is another, better way to regulate these ridesharing services.

Source: http://dcist.com/2014/10/give_us_justice_cab_drivers_protest.php#photo-


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.
  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 For hiring managers to verify the information provided on a resume, verification is essential.  Such is the purpose of employment history background checks.
  • November 27 California’s biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 21

    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.