The Maryland Public Service Commission ruled that Uber and Lyft drivers will not be required to have fingerprint-based background checks. It means Uber will not be removing service in the state of Maryland as they threatened to do if they did not receive a waiver to the requirement. Taxicab drivers and other similar professionals are required to have fingerprint-based background checks.
As an occasional Uber driver, I was hoping the Maryland Public Service Commission wouldn’t cave to Uber’s threat.
At the very least, Uber drivers should be required to have a fingerprint-based background check. I have no problem having my fingerprints used to verify that I’m not a dangerous criminal. I would welcome it. I’ve lived a crime-free life. I’ve never been arrested. I would like to use this fact as a way to set myself apart from the other independent contractors working with Uber. That’s what Uber drivers are, independent contractors.
I enjoy driving people for Uber. What I don’t like is waiting in between rides. As an Uber driver, you only get paid for the time a rider is in your car. You don’t get paid for the time you wait for Uber to send you a ride request. It’s monotonous and boring. If the pool of available drivers were whittled down because of more vigorous fingerprint-based background checks, it would mean more riders for me. Less qualified drivers would mean Uber would need to pay qualified drivers, people without a criminal record, more money.
I wish the Maryland Public Service Commission hadn’t caved to Uber’s threat.