Since the introduction of rideshare applications in 2009, the taxi driving business has taken a tremendous hit. Rideshare apps are classified as technology companies and are not restricted to the same regulations as other transportation services. Due to the app’s convenience and more affordable prices, Uber has soared to the top of the charts when it comes to transportation services.
According to a recent report, Uber has an average of 289,000 riders a day, which easily surpasses the taxi average of 277,000. There has also been a 60% increase in New York City for-hire vehicles since 2016.
Uber. There have been several publicized issues regarding Uber and Lyft lawsuits and safety. In addition to the 103 drivers that were accused of sexual assault, 31 drivers were convicted for forcible touching, kidnap, rape and even murder. Uber has faced enormous lawsuits and have settled over $10 million dollars in sexual assault and personal injury cases.
In an attempt to reduce these claims, Uber has created several in-app features, including a panic button and route tracking. Additionally, Uber conducts annual criminal and automobile checks to ensure all legal requirements are met. These background checks are operated by private, third party firms and vary depending on country and state.
Taxis. Just like Uber, all taxi drivers must pass a background test. Though the regulations are different per state, they are generally stricter than Uber’s requirements. In the state of California, in addition to passing the background test, a taxi driver must:
- Enroll and pass a drug/alcohol test and participate in random drug tests
- Pass a medical examination and have no physical or mental issues that could affect the safety of the passenger
- Get a taxi driver permit
- Attend training programs and pass defensive driving tests