Hailing a ride with a smartphone app in many U.S. cities is coming down to a fight over fingerprints.Following incidents where Uber drivers were found to have criminal records, a number of state and local officials have proposed fingerprint background checks for ride-hailing drivers — often with the support of local taxi companies.Uber and its chief rival, Lyft, have fought those checks, contending their own method of vetting drivers is just as safe. Their political muscle showed in the past week. The Chicago City Council Wednesday passed ride-hailing regulations that exclude fingerprint checks after an alderman removed the fingerprint requirement when Uber and Lyft threatened to leave the city. Rhode Island on Saturday passed regulations without fingerprint checks, which also are under consideration in Atlanta and the states of New Jersey, California and Massachusetts.Uber and Lyft have recently made good on threats to vacate cities that impose fingerprint checks, such as Austin, Texas, leaving drivers without jobs and riders without an alternative to taxis. Agreeing to fingerprint checks, as Uber did in Houston, slows the pace of hiring and increases pickup times. If passengers have to wait too long, the companies say, they give up on ride-hailing.Uber and Lyft hire… Read full this story
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