Editor:

The rideshare industry offers a taxi service while declaring that taxi regulations do not apply to them. They also maintain that their voluntary standards are higher than the mandatory ones governments impose on taxis. Uber insists that it has the highest standards. The highest standard in checking for a history of criminal behavior is to search the FBI’s criminal record database. Taxi and limo companies use the FBI’s database. Uber does not. Taxi and limo companies’ applicants are screened for drugs and alcohol. Uber’s are not. Uber carries $100,000 of insurance to cover drivers who are driving while checking their phones for rides. Taxi and limo companies are always covered by at least $1 million of insurance. Uber’s claims of elevated standards can be considered seriously only if they are applied exclusively to other rideshare companies. Since rideshare companies famously reject standards, Uber’s claims are more modest than they appear.

Just as Uber hypes its standards, they paint an almost comically stereotypical portrait of taxi drivers. Most taxi drivers are immigrants. Some worked as engineers, teachers or lawyers in their former countries. All have more interesting stories than some local guy driving part-time. If rideshare companies were honest, they would admit that they cut corners to pass savings on to you. And they also pass on the risk.

Garnet Stewart
West Los Angeles

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