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New ride-share service creating safety concerns for officials

OKLAHOMA CITY – If you’ve had one too many to drink or just need a ride to the airport, you can call a cab, or now you can one of the new ride-sharing services in Oklahoma City.

You insert your credit card information into the app, then request a driver via that same app.

No money is in physically exchanged during the commute.

It’s all put on your credit card – with a receipt is sent to your email.

Lauren Moore is a Casady school teacher and just started as a Lyft driver on the side.

“I actually found out on Facebook. There was an ad on FB and I just looked into it,” Moore said.
“I have really enjoyed it. I think it’s going to be a really good side job for me,” says Moore.

But OKC officials have three main concerns about the ride-sharing concept.

“The background check of the driver, the safety of the vehicle itself and whether or not there is proper insurance to cover any problems,” Capt. Dexter Nelson Oklahoma City Police Department said.

Laura explained what background check she went through.

“So first they took pictures of everything. They took pictures of your license. Your insurance. Your license plate and then made sure pretty much every part of your car was inspected,” Moore said.

Lyft says they use Sterling Infosystems. Uber uses a company called hire-ease.
According to background check reviews Sterling rates a “C” and Hire-ease rates a B.
Even though both companies check drivers for prior felonies, other cities have had incidents where felons are driving.

“For months with Uber we have been asking for verification of what they do along those lines, and to my knowledge we have not been given details of that,” Dexter said.

Right now ride-share drivers aren’t following any specific rules. That’s because so far, the city has not passed any laws to regulate ride-share services. Taxi companies says this gives ride-share companies an unfair business advantage.

“We know that there are lawsuits across the country that are not only operating in this company, but in other countries, and all we’re saying as a city and as a police department is that it needs to be safe,” Moore said.

A senate bill proposed in Oklahoma would exempt ride-sharing drivers from commercial operator requirements, but never made it out of committee.
A similar bill passed in Arizona popularly referred to as the “Uber bill,” but was vetoed by the Governor due to lack of safeguards for passenger protection.

For more information on Lyft click here.

For more information on Uber click here.