People all over America are relying more and more on Uber for transport. For those who’ve been living under a rock for the past few year and have no idea what Uber is – it is an American worldwide online transportation network company headquartered in San Francisco, California.
It develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app, which allows consumers with smartphones to submit a trip request, which the software program then automatically sends to the Uber driver nearest to the consumer, alerting the driver to the location of the customer. Uber drivers use their own personal cars.
Uber’s future in the city of Houston had been uncertain because of its standoff of with the city administration about fingerprinting and background checks which are a requirement for the city. Uber was adamant that they performed commercial background checks which take anything from a few days to a few weeks to approve a driver. Uber even threatened to leave Houston if the fingerprint requirement wasn’t lifted. But it seems like the city Houston stood its ground, with Uber agreeing to the fingerprint requirement in 2014.
The reason for this is that there are certain gaps and potholes in Uber’s commercial background checks. There has been sufficient evidence, and a number of articles and whitepapers published on the fact that hundreds of criminal records showed up for drivers who applied for the Transportation Network Company license. This only happened after they underwent fingerprint background checks. This was disputed by Uber, saying that those people weren’t registered with Uber – or that it can’t be proven that they are. This was ensured by Uber when they filed a lawsuit against the city of Houston and Texas Attorney General asking that the information remain private – which was approved by a judge in March.
The fingerprinting, which Uber has finally agreed on, will be the final phase in a multi-step process to obtain the TNC license. Drivers can even be awarded a temporary license for driving within the city while the fingerprinting is pending. This makes a win-win situation both for Uber’s drivers and customers alike. The latter were thrilled that Uber had finally complied with the fingerprinting requirement as most of them rely fully on Uber for transport.
Uber released a statement regarding the agreement saying, “Uber fully intends to continue operating through the Super Bowl under the city’s proposed licensing changes.”