I suppose you heard about UBER. It’s an online transportation network company. The chances are that you have their app on your phone right now. They officially launched in 2011, but they have been testing the service since 2009. It’s a good thing that they did. They were, and still are, a great success. Records show Uber is now active in 66 countries and 507 cities worldwide.
What you do not know is that behind all that success there is a not so positive story. Uber may have been a complete hit at the beginning, but people started to criticize the company for various reasons. The most obvious one which governments and taxi companies claim is that Uber uses drivers who are not licensed to drive taxicabs. And that makes Uber unsafe and illegal. Berlin banned it, for example, but it is still active in other German cities.
Domestic and Foreign Criticism
Uber is at the moment the subject of ongoing protests and legal action. Taxi drivers, taxi companies, and governments claim that it presents unfair competition. Why is that? Because taxes and licensing fees do not apply. Other reasons are that the corporation endangers passengers, drivers are untrained, they do not have a permit or insurance.
Uber conducts its activity mostly on the internet, so the government is not able to stop its operations. City jurisdictions have more success (which is why it’s possible to ban Uber in one particular city;just like Berlin did). Personally, I do not see what the fuss is about. It’s just a company like so many others. People attack it because it’s successful. It presents competition.
I aknowledge the fact that Uber drivers should be the subject of a screening (which they are). After all, people don’t know in whose car they are in. Bad things happen every day.
Background Check as a Requirement for Uber Drivers
The main idea of this article is the criticism towards Uber. So I am not going to develop the small things that are required of Uber drivers. I am going to talk about that one thing that gets everybody so wound up: Passenger safety.
If you want to be an Uber driver, other than being the appropriate age, being in good health and having the ability to drive, the candidates must pass a background check. They give consent to be subjected to one when they apply. So what is Uber (the company) looking at when they do their screening?
- County courthouse records for every county of residence for the last 7 years
- Federal courthouse records going for the last 7 years
- The multi-state criminal database for the last 7 years
- DMV records
- Social Security Trace
- National Sex Offender Registry
As you can see, Uber checks what is necessary to provide a certain sense of security for its passengers. People may argue that background checks can lie or be incomplete. That is true. But so can happen in any other domain where a background check is a requirement.
To go into detail a little bit, here is the criteria an Uber candidate must meet:
- A minimum of 1 year U.S. licensing history (at least 3 years if the candidate is under 23 years old)
- A clean DMV Report with no more than 3 incidents in the past 3 years
- No DUIs and no reckless driving
- A clean criminal background check with no felonies or misdemeanors involving theft, violence or drugs in a given time frame
- No speeding violations for driving 20 mph or greater over the speed limit in the past 3 years.
If this doesn’t cover all the subjects of criticism, I don’t know what will.
Uber will continue its operations no matter what governments or other private companies will say or do. All those claims are mostly unfounded. There are incidents, but so are in other domains. But as long as people will use Uber, the company will swim in revenue, more and more each year.