With phone apps for Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and other “taxi like” services we might not be seeing that anymore. These types of services, getting rides from non-professional drivers, are under fire in California. AB1289, in the California assembly would require drivers to undergo extensive background checks.
The California DMV is weighing in on the services, perhaps to require commercial plates on these peer to peer ridesharing cars. California’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has recognized ridesharing companies as “transportation network company” to distinguish them from other commercial taxi services.
That could all change with a class-action lawsuit recently filed. Read the article in the Huffington Post here. Drivers for Uber are challenging their status as “independent contractors”. This issue has come up many times in the trucking industry, with FedEx on the losing end of a recent lawsuit .Read what Forbes magazine had to say here.
The more extensive background checks would look for criminal activity, sexual crimes and sex offender status. They would also go further into the applicants history, more that the 7-10 years that is standard. ( Compliance Associates, Inc. can do background checks for your company and go back as far as you want.)
The taxi company’s are fighting back with apps of their own. Just like a gas war, competition between companies is good for the consumer.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. We will update this blog as we find out more.