Ride Industry Problems
- Drivers are unable to identify passengers at pickup point.
- Customers are confused which vehicle is theirs.
- Reports of predators luring passengers using bogus signs.
- License plates often obscured, many states lack front plates, not secure, etc.
- The problems increase exponentially as the size of the venue increases.
i.e. airports, designated pick-up points, etc.
- Drivers sometimes use vehicles not registered in the database, resulting in the wrong information being sent to the passenger.
- Lack of Title III compliance – ADA accessibility and/or accommodations.
- No universality, a knowledge of the local language is required.
- Lack of driver emergency or medical alert notification.
Media Coverage of Problems
These weaknesses in customer identification and contact technology have generated significant media coverage.
- Woman – 22 Raped After Getting Into Car She Thought Was Lyft Driver – Chelsea Patch
- DC Police: Man Posing as Uber Driver Sought for Assault – USA Today
- Police Warn, as Robbers Posing as Uber Drivers – CBS Chicago
- The Perils of Being Mistaken for an Uber Driver – NPR
- People Keep Getting Into Strangers Cars Because They Think It’s Uber – USA Today
- Don’t Be That Guy That Orders Uber and Hops Into the Wrong Car – Mashable.com
- Uber and Lyft Drivers Work Dangerous Jobs – But They’re Both On Their Own – Wired
- Feds Say ‘Uber Must Comply With ADA’ – New Mobility
The Growing Reality of Litigation
Uber’s Private Entity v. Common Carrier Defense Fails
Multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against Uber and the rideshare industry for discriminatory practices and failing to provide accessibility/accommodations for the disabled/impaired – violations of Title III (42 U.S.C. §§12181–12189) – Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Uber repeatedly claimed it was exempt, stating its private entity status, it does not provide public transportation services, it is a technology company, it is not a common carrier, it contracts with independent drivers and does not own any vehicles.
Recent Rulings Against Uber Establish Benchmarks For Entire Ride Share Industry
A recent ruling by The Department of Justice, “The ADA applies to private entities that are primarily engaged in providing transportation services, even if a company is not a public accommodation. Uber may not contract away its ADA responsibilities as it provides an on-demand service.”
In Jane Doe v. Uber Technologies, Inc. “Common carriers must use the highest care and vigilance of a very cautious person. They must all do what human care, vigilance and foresight reasonably can do under the circumstances to avoid harm to passengers. While a common carrier does not guarantee the safety of its passengers, it must use reasonable skill to provide everything necessary for safe transportation, in view of the transportation used and practical operation of the business.”
Rise of Legal Alliances Monitoring the Ride Share Industry
Worth noting is that the huge number of lawsuits has generated legal alliances such as www.LegalRideshare.com, www.RideshareLaw.com and www.UberLawsuit.com specifically addressing claims targeting the rideshare industry. Undoubtedly, these firms will make the most of any weaknesses or susceptibility in the industry.