Unregulated ridesharing companies are continuing to see push back from countries around the world as governments question the legality and safety of these services.
This week Uber was banned in New Delhi, India after an accused rape on a 26-year-old woman from an Uber driver. The CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, sympathized for the victim however said that the Indian government needed to “create clear background checks currently absent in their commercial transportation licensing programs”. Apparently, Travis Kalanick decided that performing background checks in the United States were necessary due to public opinion however in a country like India, Uber could get away with negligent hiring. This is another example of Uber skimming safety and insurance in an attempt to create higher revenues and keep fares low.
Recently in Spain and Thailand, Uber was temporarily banned by the government after being seen as an illegal taxi operation which is creating unfair competition. Thailand’s Department of Land Transport announced that ridesharing drivers will be imposed with heavy fines for operating illegally.
Fines and bans are also being imposed by states in the U.S. After a court order in Nevada, Uber abandoned operations after being challenged with violations of Nevada laws regulating passenger transportation services and commercial motor carriers. The Oregon city of Portland has ordered ridesharing drivers to stop operations by 5pm on Thursday, December 11, or be faced with arrest, fines, and vehicle impoundment. San Francisco and Los Angeles are charging Uber for making “misleading representations” regarding the company’s background checks on drivers. The charges also include illegally operating at state airports without proper authorization while using an “airport fee toll” on customers with no funds being returned to the airports.
The ongoing trend of ridesharing services undercutting taxi services and taking advantage of loopholes in the system with suggested “donations”, loose insurance, and negligent hires of independent contractors will continue to jeopardize citizens with unsafe business practices.