Uber Faces Possibility That Four Largest American Cities Will Require Fingerprinting of its Drivers

New York and Houston already require fingerprinting.
Now Austin has joined the ranks, and Chicago and Los Angeles could follow suit.

One of Uber’s core messages in the Austin, Texas, referendum on ride-hailing over the weekend was that New York City and Houston, Texas, which already fingerprint the corporations’ drivers, are mere “outliers” in requiring such. But in reality, the nation’s four largest cities by population—New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston respectively—either fingerprint Uber and Lyft drivers or are currently pushing to do so.

Overview of Four Largest American Cities:

New York City: Uber and Lyft drivers undergo fingerprint background checks and are required to adhere to all licensing requirements for public-transportation-for-hire drivers.

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Council President Herb Wesson and City Councilmember Paul Krekorian recently penned a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission urging an L.A. pilot program to fingerprint Uber and Lyft drivers. The CPUC will take up fingerprinting for statewide consideration later this month or early June.

Chicago: A majority of the Chicago City Council supports a proposed ordinance that would require Uber drivers to undergo fingerprint background checks and public licensing.

Houston: The City of Houston fingerprints Uber drivers as part of its licensing process. When Uber recently threatened to leave Houston should fingerprinting continue, Houston refused to be intimidated and instead went on the offensive. Mayor Sylvester Turner announced Houston may work to develop its own for-hire transportation app. He also noted Houston may soon be the nation’s third largest city.

“Rather than being ‘outliers,’ New York and Houston are part of a pattern. The largest American cities are leveraging the desirability of their markets to require fingerprinting of drivers,” said Dave Sutton, spokesperson for ‘Who’s Driving You?’ “Now Austin’s vote this weekend by its concerned citizens only adds to the growing national awareness that allowing corporations to self-regulate is not an option.”

Taxicab, Uber or Lyft

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