Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hendy Omits Uber From Recommended New Years Eve Travel Options....by Jim Thomas.

While trying not to read anything into his statement, it is interesting to note that TfL's Transport Commissioner made no reference to Uber, in this years announcement about getting home after New Years Eve celebrations. 
And it's not just Taxi Leaks who noticed this. 


London’s Transport Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy, said: London has had another wonderful year and I know that many people will be out in the capital welcoming the New Year in. Our priority is that passengers travelling on New Year’s Eve get home safely and plan ahead for their journey home. They can do this by either using the free travel that we are providing on our services or with a licensed taxi or a "pre-booked private hire vehicle".

Their official statement also stated: 

Public transport is the best way to get around London, we urge revellers to use these various means rather than drive. Some buses will be on diversion or finish early due to the road closures.

People choosing to take a taxi home are advised to use a black cab or pre-booked minicab to ensure that their journey is safe and legal. No mention was made of Uber...does this mean that they finally agree that Uber, which doesn't do pre bookings and uses an immediate eHailing App, is not legal?


Also, following on from their new "Woefully inadequate" reputation, TfL have again failed to appoint suitable ranking stations, for licensed Taxis wishing to work. Every year a request is made for a temporary ranking facility in the Mall and every year it is refused. Enforcement will again be minimal, leaving the public to the mercy of huge numbers of illegal touts. 

              Busiest times, over New Years Eve


    Source: CityAM





Another Uber Driver, Charged With Raping An Inebriated Customer.

'He will not be Ubering anybody,' judge says of driver charged with raping woman


After allegedly raping an inebriated customer in his Albany Park apartment, a former Uber driver walked the victim back to his car and told her “I made you happy,” Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Maxime Fohounhedo, who shared an Uber account with his wife, is accused of first attacking the woman inside his black four-door vehicle after picking her up in the early morning hours of Nov. 16, Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Mack said.

The woman had used Uber X to summon Fohounhedo and fell asleep in the back passenger seat as Fohounhedo drove onto the highway, Mack said.

Once he was off the highway, Fohounhedo, 30, asked the woman to sit in the front passenger seat because he was unsure of her address, Mack said.

The woman fell asleep again but awoke after Fohounhedo turned left in an alley and stopped his car behind an apartment building, Mack said.

There, Fohounhedo allegedly took the 22-year-old woman’s hand and put it inside his pants.

The woman pulled her hands away but fell asleep a third time.

When she woke up, she found herself inside an apartment on a dark leather couch with Fohounhedo on top of her and her pants and underpants down to her ankles, Mack said.

After the rape, Fohounhedo took off a condom and went to the washroom, giving the woman some time to see the layout of the apartment, Mack said.

The victim then got dressed, and Fohounhedo helped her leave, taking her out the rear of the apartment and down one flight of stairs, Mack said.

“I made you happy,” Fohounhedo then allegedly assured her before dropping her off at home.

The woman immediately texted a friend to tell her what happened before she fell asleep again, Mack said.

She made a police report as soon as she woke up a few hours later and went to an area hospital where a rape kit was done, Mack said.

The woman was able to tell police about her driver, and they were able to trace the attack back to Fohounhedo’s apartment, in the 4400 block of North Lawndale, using the victim’s GPS information from the date and time of the incident, Mack said.

The woman was able to identify pictures from inside and outside his apartment, Mack said. She also identified Fohounhedo in a line-up.

Fohounhedo was arrested on Sunday by his apartment after police saw him come out of his dark Lexus, according to an arrest report.

Fohounhedo, who was born in the West African country of Benin, had his Uber account in his wife’s name, but his picture and phone number were on the account, Mack said.

Uber spokeswoman Jennifer Mullin said Fohounhedo was removed as an Uber driver as soon as officials at the company were alerted about the alleged attack.

“This is an appalling and unacceptable incident, and first and foremost our thoughts are with the victim and her family,” Mullin said. “We immediately removed the driver from the Uber platform when we learned of the incident and are cooperating with the Chicago Police Department in the ongoing investigation.  We stand ready to assist them however we can to hold the perpetrator accountable.”

The company also noted that “account sharing is expressly prohibited on the Uber platform.” Uber said it’s exploring legal options against Fohounhedo and his wife.

Judge Peggy Chiampas ordered Fohounhedo held in lieu of $500,000 bail Tuesday for criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse.

Should he post bond, Fohounhedo must surrender his passport, the judge said.

Chiampas also banned Fohounhedo from driving people for a car service, saying: “He will not be Ubering anybody.”


    Source: chicago.suntimes.com

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sir Peter, Leon and Garrett, This Is What Honourable Men Do...by Jim Thomas.

Mark Carne CEO of NetWork Rail, has appeared on national TV and made the statement that, owing to the recent performance of NetWork Rail, he would not be accepting his six figured performance related bonus.

This is the action of an honourable man. 
Mr Carne's action relates to just one really bad weekend.

While on the other hand, London's Taxi and Private hire's licensing authority TfL, had a year which has seen the Greater London Authority (GLA) brand them as "woefully inadequate".

If the transport commissioner and his directors were honourable men, then they should follow in the footsteps of Mark Carne and refuse to accept their performance related bonuses. 

Sir Peter Hendy, Leon Daniels and Garrett Emmerson,
Will you show some backbone, stand up as honourable men and refuse your performance related bonuses?.
.


    Source: ITV News.

Maybe It's Time To Blow The Windows Out..........By Semtex.

As another year comes to an end, our trade leans back on the ropes gasping for more air to continue our fight for survival.

And what a difficult year we have endured too. I used to blame paranoia for thinking the whole establishment were against The London Taxi Trade, but never have I been convinced as much as I am now, that the Transport For London Master plan, is to eradicate us totally. Looking back over 2014, that master plan is in full roll and hurtling down the track.
 
I am the first to admit that it wasn't all strawberries and cream under command and responsibility of the Metropolitan Police, but there cannot be many in our ranks who wouldn't go back to the old days like a shot, if we were able.

From the day that TFL took control of our profession, we have seen our world famous respected institution abused, disrespected and buggered.

Taking command of such a structured and valued iconic speciality, requires structured and specialist commanders to direct and control it.

It should come as no surprise then, to see the legacy of The Protector Oliver Cromwell, dissected, smashed onto the ropes and almost ruined, when inexperienced career chasing civil servants and bus enthusiasts are appointed to punch way above their weight, taking us out on the way.
 
After all, why on earth would anyone who is so passionate about buses, give any care or professional respect to London Taxi Cabs?

That's a bit like a member of Greenpeace going out for a drink with a commercial Tuna Fisherman.....isn't it ? And yet, not only do the Bus Boys control and licence us, but are doing a damn good job of making sure we are extinct too. If that isn't a conspiracy theory, then mine's a bloater !
 
I have never directly criticised any of our trade organisations, or the faces behind them. I personally know many of our colleagues in all different unions and clubs that work tirelessly behind the glare of fame, in an effort to gain more of a professional footing.

However, and honestly, with the greatest respect to all of them, there hasn't been enough power in the charge, to make a difference that is outstanding and sound enough from any of them. A confidence to give rank and file drivers an optimistic future. A future where they would encourage their sons or daughters to start the knowledge, a future where they would borrow 100 grand mortgage with assurance, a future where they can plan and coordinate their retirements, holidays and financial commitments with confidence and belief in not only their profession, but the future and longevity of it.
 
It has been almost five years ago that I wrote that Men were Coming To Kill Us. During this year, it has become apparent to all of us, that we are well and truly surrounded.

There are so many pressures against us out there now, that only a realistic and profound challenge will clear the road forward for us all.
 
All of us with a badge around our neck will be only too aware of how much heartache, pressure, time and commitment was involved to allow us the privileged and sole rights to ply our superior knowledge and cab's for hire, under Hackney Carriage Laws that are etched in stone.

We knew the rules before we started. We discussed it with our loved ones. We decided that the huge input of time and financial cost would be worth the pride and professional elite status, and so embarked upon the long road ahead, to become one of London's finest.
 
It is no surprise then, that when a mini cab firm comes along with a huge financial backing from the banks and other investors, and to add insult, sporting an illegal meter, that our backs should be rubbed up the wrong way, and disenchantment would take root.

Surprisingly, not only did the Bus Boys from TFL give them an Operators Licence, they blatantly welcomed them with open arms. Even though their counterfeit meter was drenched in world controversy.
 
To anyone who had worked their pipe out to complete the gruelling London Knowledge, this was a kick in the teeth not just for us, but our families and loved ones who had encouraged and supported us through four or five years of purgatory.

The Bus Boys at TFL had more or less made it clear that the message was, don't bother doing the knowledge as we have just undermined everything you worked hard for. If Uber can tear the Hackney Carriage legislation up, then so can anyone else with a few quid in their bank accounts, whether its registered in the Netherlands or Norwood.
 
Behind the scenes in this trade, I have many good friends, a lot of them in positions of leadership and example. They have often criticised my militant stance, and explained that dialogue with the authorities, meeting with politicians, lobbying through constituent Members of Parliament and media consultation is the future and the way forward for our battered profession to make progress.

Out of respect, and a realisation that we are indeed part of a democratic society, I listened and supported my learned colleagues.
 
As this year draws to a close though, and with my hand on my heart, I believe our lobbying and meetings have fallen on deaf ears. As a result of an imminent defeat, the natural militant attitude that I harbour, comes racing to the fore.
 
Let me make a parallel. A little over dramatic, but the principles remain the same.
 
At 11.30 on Wednesday morning 30th April 1980, six armed Iranian gunmen calling themselves The Democratic Revolutionary Front For Arabistan, raided the Iranian Embassy In Princes Gate.

Within a few minutes, they had held the embassy under siege, and taken the 26 people in the property as hostages.

Very soon, the Metropolitan Police under the command of Assistant Commissioner John Dellow, had surrounded the embassy and taken operational control outside the building. Many specialists were in attendance that day. Police marksmen, negotiators, psychiatrists, and many other specialists, expert in the field of negotiating.
 
The hostages demanded that political prisoners be released from various prisons in Iran, and their safe passage from the UK guaranteed and failure to meet their demands would result in the hostages being killed and the embassy blown up.

Commissioner Dellow's team worked flat out attempting to convince the terrorists that they should give up. Just like the Bus Boys, they were having none of it.
 
That Wednesday turned into, Thursday, into Friday into Saturday, into Sunday into Monday.............with absolutely no progress whatsoever. By this time, the Iranians were getting restless and threatened to kill a hostage if their demands were not met on the day. Dellow's officers could only watch, wait and attempt to negotiate.

Later that day, the terrorists crossed the invisible line. Three shots rang out, and the body of a hostage was slung out the front door.
 
The Government's emergency panel COBRA were watching this unfold with fear and panic. After the hostage was shot, the then police commissioner David McNee contacted Willie Whitelaw the Home Secretary to say that he felt he had no option but to hand the job over to the SAS.

B Squadron just so happened to be on Anti Terrorist duties at the time, and as the saga at the embassy unfolded, four unmarked range rovers were already speeding east bound up the M4 from Hereford.
 
The rest is history. On the given command, troopers from B Squadron abseiled down from the roof, blew the Iranian Embassy windows out, killed all the terrorists barring one, rescued the hostages and were being de-briefed at Regents Park Barracks within the hour. The whole operation codenamed "Nimrod" took less than 12 minutes ! Job done ! A siege that had gone on requiring massive resources for almost 6 days, was concluded in less than 12 minutes, because the team from B Squadron were intent on getting what they had travelled from Hereford for.
 
Iv'e never been a fan of constant dialogue and blah blah blah politics, especially as I witness our trade eroding as it all  takes place. Neither have I ever been a fan of half hearted taxi demos. They are easy to control by the police, very rarely achieve much worth talking about and have often caused divide within our ranks.

However, I have always maintained that a demo of London Taxis of say 10 or 15 thousand cabs, would leave the incompetents who control us, no other option but to listen.

15000 London Taxis in the middle of London on a perfectly legal democratic and peaceful demonstration would cause utter breakdown of trade, commerce and industry in our capital.

Make no mistake folks, our trade is under siege and we are losing. A demo of this size would require total trade unity and support. No egos, no lanyard colour football mentality, no mine is bigger than yours..............just 100% trade solidarity and unity.
 
If we were able to pull that off, the civil servants would show an immediate desire to talk sense with us, trust me. London simply couldn't afford to be held to ransom without the hierarchy holding emergency meetings to see what we were disenchanted with.

In my mind, we have nothing to lose. If we don't do something, our trade will be all over in a year or two from now.

We have no guns, we have no stun grenades and we have no bullets.
 
But what we do have is strength in our numbers, solidarity, pride, and a duty of care for our 400 year old heritage. The unity of one and all having toiled, worked, sweated, and suffered for four years or more to go about our business without fear of malicious neglect, incompetence and worry.

TFL are walking all over our trade in a bullying, couldn't care less attitude.

I worked hard for my badge. I put a lot into it. My kids were only little at the time, and as adults they can still call over many of the runs, such was their misery at having to listen to it every night.

Im proud of my badge. Proud of my profession and proud of its history.
 
Wev'e tried dialogue, we've tried negotiating, we've tried going to the meetings, we've tried the lobbying, we've tried writing to our MP's, we've tried to be civil..................and we are getting slaughtered !
 
 
Maybe it's time to blow the windows out.
 
A truly united demo of 15000 cabs in London next year would guarantee our survival. It's up to us to decide whether we can be bothered or not.
 
 
 
May I wish all our colleagues green and yellow badges, of all unions, clubs and associations, a very healthy and prosperous New Year.
 
 
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
 
Men are Coming To Kill Us. Let's Give Them A Hiding !
 
 
Be Lucky all. Stay safe.
 
 
8829 Semtex.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Uber Sydney Raided By NSW Government

The New South Wales Government and the subsequent state transport office is no fan of Uber, probably because Uber is running a rule-skirting ride-sharing service right on the government’s doorstep. In a bid to crack down on the service, the State Government has reportedly executed a raid on the offices of Uber Sydney in connection with the Uber X service.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a search warrant was executed in April, which includes the company’s Sydney offices. 

At the time, Uber was testing the Uber X service — known then as Uber Low Cost — around Sydney. The service sees ordinary drivers take on fares through the Uber app as if they were taxis, which has since enraged cab services and hire car drivers alike.

Despite the fact that Transport for NSW made its stance opposing so-called ride-sharing services at the end of April, Uber Sydney took the liberty of giving the department the proverbial finger and launching the service wide to the public on the same day.

Transport for NSW is light on the details of the raid, adding only that 10 court attendance notices have been issued to Uber X drivers operating in Sydney. Getting caught and found guilty carries a minimum penalty of $110,000. [SMH]


    Source: Gizmodo

The Fall Of The UTG Empire...by Jim Thomas.

The reality of the trades desperate situation finally struck home earlier in the year, when the Chairman of the LCDC Grant Davis, said on the Eddie Nester Radio program, "Because I've dealt with TfL, I know what they say and what they do are two different things. They come on your show and tell everyone, the public on the radio, that everything is going to be fine and dandy. But you read the small print, it never ends up like that Eddie. But then it's far too late down the road. We're just finding that out in the Cab Trade now."

Well, that's was Grant just finding it out.
Others in the trade knew about this for over four years!

This revelation made public, heralded the first sign that all was not well with the exclusive United Trade Group under the engagement policy.

No surprise really, it stands to reason that after getting exactly what they wanted from the United Trade Group leading up to the Olympics, (let's face it, that's what the engagement policy was all about) this would happen.  The honours and bonuses dished out, LTPH dismantled and replaced with the Surface Integration Program (SIP), the door to constructive engagement has firmly slammed shut to the trade.

Two members of the elletist group now out in the cold with the other trade orgs they so readily excluded.
AND NOW THEY DON'T LIKE IT.

But someone's still got a crafty foot in the door?
Notice not one word about SIP from the LTDA.

Surely this had been discussed at TfL board level?

Below, is a letter sent to Peter Hendy by The LCDC, almost begging to be let back around the engagement table.


No one likes to witness the public eating of humble pie like this.

Editorial Opinion:
To be taken seriously, Grant Davis and the other UTG leaders need to offer a formal olive branch to those they excluded. Whether the excluded orgs will ever trust them again, is a question that only time will tell. You know what they say about people who lay down with dogs!

As far as TfL see it, as long as the board member appointed by the Mayor say's nothing, then the majority of the cab trade is in their hutch.

The clues were always there.
If proof were ever needed about TfL's attitude towards the trade, just think about how aggressive the police got at the pre-Olympic; Aldwych,  Hyde Park Corner and Tower Bridge demos, not forgetting the post Olympic; Whitehall demos. Anti-terrorist police were called in, drivers were threatened, harassed, photographed, had their plates and IDs noted, letters were issued to drivers to attend Palestra.

All drivers wanted, was to protest in a lawful and peaceful manner.

Tube and Bus disputes are resolved by union negotiation, to find a solution which safeguards their members and public safety. With a full on strike, TfL have to take negotiation seriously as it costs money the longer it goes on. Demos from the Taxi trade cost TfL, virtually nothing. This is where we need to make the change. Any action we undertake must be planned to cost TfL dearly.

TfL refuse to negotiate with the Taxi trade in the same way they do with the Tube and buses, due to the mechanism of appointing Bob Oddy onto the board of TfL, they therefore have sterilised the trades largest org.

The LTDA aside, the other two UTG organisations are now irrelevant to TfL, as they represent a minimal percentage of the trade. The LCDC now realised this and Unite have all but disappeared along with their paper. The Woodfield Road home guard are never going to challenge the cosy little set up they have been gifted. 

25000 drivers with 5000 ancillary trades workers, all stymied because of bad leadership and super sized egos. The trade has been bought to its knees. 

But when you are this far down, there is only one way left to go and that is up
We now have the result of the GLA inquiry which has given us the bullets we so desperately needed to fire back. We must not waste this opportunity. 

2015 has to be the year the Taxi trade gets organised and fully unite, the one thing that TfL fear the most, is a truly United front facing them. We need to start making headlines early in the new year, as we are facing the biggest crisis this trade has ever seen and men have come to kill us off. 
TfL want us dead.

It's YOUR future! 
And yes, there is a future. 
But you will have to fight for it.
Will you fight?


Need a bit of cheer after all the gloom and doom?
Watch Aiden Kent, the Singing Cabby.


See link below.






Sunday, December 28, 2014

TAXI LEAKS, the year in review 2014: Part One : From Little Acorns... By Jim Thomas.


2014 has been the most productive year so far for Taxi Leaks. In November, we surpassed a one million hits benchmark.
The contributors and editorial staff would like to thank all our readers, for making us the most popular news portal in the Taxi trade.

The most talked about issue in the trade this year, was undoubtedly the GLA report into the running of Taxis and Private Hire by TfL. 

Although many Taxi drivers have for years been complaining to their assembly members, MPs and in certain cases members of the House of Lords, very few encouraging responses ever came back. In most cases complaints were sent to TfL to deal with and standard letters were past back to the driver, but with no substance or solution to resolve issues. 

John Kennedy wrote to every member of the GLA as Chair of the LTCPR back in 2007/8, which resulted in a line of communication being set up with many GLA members. These links were carried over by John when he became Chair of the RMT in 2010.

In January this year, Taxi Leaks roving reporter wrote to Baroness Jenny Jones >See Here< outlining issues the trade faced from the lack of TfL enforcement in regards to PH drivers illegally plying for hire and touting. This one email sparked a chain reaction that saw a reply asking for evidence regarding these issues. 

With the help of the RMT's press officer, a formal letter was drafted to the GLA transport committee laying out all aspects of the grievances drivers had with TfL as a licensing authority. 

We then received confirmation, that on the back of the evidence supplied, the GLA would be setting up an investigation in which the whole trade would be asked to contribute using an open consultation involving both Taxi and Private Hire. >See Here<

The subsequent inquiry which took place, involved every branch of the trade including individual drivers. Evidence was supplied in both oral and written presentations. The result was a massive victory with TfL being branded as "Woefully inadequate".

Many drivers were amazed how quiet our largest representative org became during the investigation process. It's been alleged that Bob Oddy's connection to the board of TfL, seriously compromised the LTDA's contribution to the inquiry. 

But it didn't go unnoticed that one member of the United Trade Group, almost broke their arms patting themselves on the back. 
What ever happened to their call for trade unity?

As a byproduct, our simple blog has had four victories on behalf of the trade, victories that could have easily been achieved by any group large or small. Unfortunately, the triumvirate that is the UTG, have struggled to do anything other than squabble over bits of glory, well after the fact. 
The two LTDA inspired mass trade demos achieved absolutely nothing, other than bad press.

The Shard Flash Mod demo appeared to be successful but you would be naive to think if ever you wanted a new rank, all you had to do was demonstrate outside a venue. 
If that were true, we would have ranks all over the capital. 

Without the email sent by Taxi Leaks to Sir Peter Hendy >See Here< and his susiquent short but sweet apology, the Shard forward rank may never have emerged. >Click Here for Apology<.

   To be continued!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

TfL, Are You Listening, This Is How It's Done!

Uber CEO faces two years in prison for operating illegal taxi service.


South Korean prosecutors have indicted the founder of Uber, Travis Kalanick, for operating an illegal taxi service in the country. The formal accusation against Kalanick and another man, a local rental car service operator, was made without physical detention. Violators of the Korean law in question, which stops rental car services from offering paid passenger transport, could face a fine of up to 20 million won ($18,121), or up to two years in jail.

SEOUL CITIZENS CAN EARN BOUNTIES FOR REPORTING ON UBER PRACTICES

Uber officially launched in the South Korean capital city of Seoul in August 2013, after a test phase that began in June, but only started trialling its UberX service — which pays private drivers for using their own car as a taxi — in August this year. The ride-sharing service faced anger from local taxi drivers, upset that amateur drivers were undercutting their fares. Where Uber doesn't require that its UberX drivers have any special licenses, private Seoul taxi drivers can reportedly expect to pay around 70 million won ($63,477) for the proper documentation.

The service also faced staunch opposition from local authorities: Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport declared that the ride-sharing app was illegal before it officially launched, and other branches of the administration made it clear that Uber would not be welcome in the country. "As soon as testing phases are over," a spokesperson for the Seoul city government said in September, "our dedicated squad will begin clamping down on Uber drivers." The city has made good on the threat, passing an ordinance last week that offers a 1 million won ($910) reward for anyone who reports on Uber's activities. For the moment, an Uber spokesperson said the service was operating as normal in the city.

  • Also in the news:

    Uber Faces Class-Action Lawsuit Over $1 'Safe Rides Fee'

    Uber faces a new class-action lawsuit from riders over its $1 Safe Rides Fee. (Rafiq Maqbool/AP)

    Uber has been hit with class-action lawsuits from cab companies and Uber’s own drivers, but the newest group to enter the fray is Uber passengers.

    Two Uber riders filed a class-action lawsuit against the car-service app company this week, claiming they should not have had to pay the $1 “Safe Rides Fee” Uber tacks on to each ride because the company’s background checks were misleadingly represented as “industry leading.”

    The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco, is the third in the last month filed on behalf of Uber’s passengers. An Uber customer filed a class-action lawsuit on Dec. 3 over a $4 fee charged to passengers going to San Francisco International Airport to reimburse drivers. The lawsuit says the company pocketed the fee. A similar lawsuit filed in late November claims riders were overcharged for a fee at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

    The most recent lawsuit seeks restitution for every $1 Safe Rides Fee charged to every U.S. Uber customer — which, given that Uber gave 140 million rides globally this year, would be a hefty sum.

    “We don’t expect to get 100 cents on the dollar — that would be shooting the moon,” said Nicholas Coulson, one of the attorneys filing the lawsuit. “But we do aim to get the greatest possible restitution.”

    Uber added the $1 Safe Rides Fee in April to help pay for its safety program — driver training, background checks and vehicle inspections. Until recently, Uber told riders its background checks are “industry leading” and “often more rigorous than what it takes to become a taxi driver,” but the complaint says those promises are false and misleading because drivers do not have to be fingerprinted.

    If that argument sounds familiar, it’s because the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles made the same point when they sued Uber earlier this month. To become an Uber driver, you only have to submit your name and identification to background checks. You don’t have to prove that the identity is actually yours, which would be done through fingerprinting or other biometric identification. Someone with a criminal record could, in theory, become an Uber driver using the identity of a sibling or a friend with a clean history.

    “At the end of the day, you cannot conduct the most comprehensive background check possible if the information you have obtained has nothing to do with the person that is signing on with you to be a driver,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said when that lawsuit was filed. “It is completely worthless.”Coulson said the class-action lawsuit is focused more on getting restitution for riders, while the district attorneys’ lawsuit prioritizes making Uber change its safety marketing language.

    When prosecutors sued Uber, they also announced a settlement with Lyft, a rival car-service app, over similar language about their background checks. Lyft, like Uber, charges a $1 fee — the company calls it a “Trust and Safety Fee” — and does not require fingerprinting for drivers. When Lyft settled with prosecutors, it agreed to change its language about its background checks. Coulson said that he and other attorneys have not ruled out filing a similar lawsuit against Lyft for its safety fee.

    It’s unclear whether class-action lawsuits like this one will go the distance. An Uber driver lawsuit is continuing along the legal process, but a similar one filed on behalf of Lyft drivers stalled in August. Uber’s terms of service for riders include an arbitration clause that could prevent riders from taking the company to court. But a judge in the Uber driver lawsuit ruled in June to allow drivers to opt out of their mandatory arbitration clause.

    An Uber spokeswoman was not able to give an immediate comment about the lawsuit. The complaint can be found >here.<

        Source Yonhap news and Forbes