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Letter: Consumers should determine which hailing service survives

Consumers should determine which hailing service survives

In response to the Dec. 14 News article on the taxi industry wanting background checks for ride-hailing drivers, by insisting on fingerprinting the taxi industry is cynically misleading New Yorkers about the safety of a resource that 70 percent say they want.

To be clear, every single ride-hailing driver in New York will be required to pass a state-mandated background check and be screened against federal, state, local, Department of Motor Vehicles and U.S. Department of Justice registries. This is already the law of the land in 37 other states across the country. Fingerprints are a red herring.

Anyone who has taken a taxi knows they do not represent a good benchmark for service or safety. Consumer protections are hardwired into ride-hailing platforms, unlike taxis. Ride-hailing offers a laundry list of safety features: in-app photos of the driver and vehicle, real-time ride tracking, digital receipts, two-way rating systems and safety teams available 24/7 for emergencies. Both law enforcement and users celebrate the safety innovations available on ride-hailing platforms.

Ride-hailing makes is extremely easy to get a ride and that simple ability is proven to reduce DWI arrests by up to 51 percent and assault and disorderly conduct arrests by up to 42 percent in the communities in which they operate. Fighting to keep ride-hailing out of New York is literally making us less safe.

Albany is finally on the path to give consumers the choice of ride-hailing. We should let people make their own decision on what service they like best.

Dustin Brighton, VP

State Government Affairs

Internet Association

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