In this world of convenience at the cost of safety, ride share companies such as Über and Lyft have been under the microscope in recent months.
Their services are immensely popular. Simply choose a destination on your smartphone and a driver will meet you, pick you up, and take you where you want to go. Much like Amazon or Google, a star-rating review system acts as the standard basis for ride quality, relying on the community at large to regulate the independent contractors and their personal vehicles. When your rating as a driver slips, so does your ability to make money.
Outside of that rating system, Americans have no real background on their driver; a reality that has worried several experts.
Now, Über is facing a rude awakening in Colorado where the company is on the hook for nearly $9 million in fines for employing criminal drivers – a practice that the general ride sharing public was previously oblivious to.
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“Colorado’s Public Utilities Commission has fined Uber approximately $8.9 million for their employment of drivers with a history of criminal activities.
“USA Today reports that the Public Utilities ccommission of Colorado has fined ride-sharing app Uber $8.9 million after it was discovered that the company had hired multiple drivers with serious criminal pasts. Colorado officials claim that as many as 57 Uber drivers have been operating in the state over the past year despite having felony convictions or major moving convictions. Some of the drivers were even driving passengers around the city despite having a revoked or canceled driver’s license.
“Uber does reportedly perform background checks on all drivers, but it was determined by the state of Colorado that Uber allowed drivers to continue operating under the Uber name despite being in possession of information that should have disqualified them. Uber was reportedly only made aware of the fine when Colorado officials announced it in a press release. Uber has stated that they would be willing to pay 50 percent of the fine in the next ten days or they will be forced to contest the fine.”
How many Americans have these 57 drivers been responsible for over the course of their time working for Über? Furthermore, in how many instances were these felons previously convicted of a crime that would have made certain passengers highly uncomfortable?
While Über and the advent of autonomous cars may soon be an inevitable reality of our future transportation, there are still a great many Americans who are willing to sacrifice a bit of convenience for safety. The revelations coming out of Colorado this week will certainly increase that number.