If Uber has nothing to hide, what’s the big deal?

File illustration picture showing the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign in Frankfurt, September 15, 2014. A Frankfurt court earlier this month instituted a temporary injunction against Uber from offering car-sharing services across Germany. San Francisco-based Uber, which allows users to summon taxi-like services on their smartphones, offers two main services, Uber, its classic low-cost, limousine pick-up service, and Uberpop, a newer ride-sharing service, which connects private drivers to passengers - an established practice in Germany that nonetheless operates in a legal grey area of rules governing commercial transportation. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Files (GERMANY - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT CRIME LAW TRANSPORT)

Taxi services have been around for quite a while and they do come in handy, like when getting to the airport or even if you have had too much to drink. They are reliable but can be expensive. That is when Uber steps in as an alternate to a taxi service that can come to your location with a tap of an app.

Uber started in Paris in 2008 and is an app that allows the user to contact an Uber driver to come pick them up at their location. The app includes an estimate of how much it may cost to get to the next destination and also the ability to pay with a credit card or PayPal. The Uber driver comes to the location and picks up the rider in the driver’s own vehicle or even a premium black car, depending if it’s a major city. Uber is not just in the United States, it’s all over the world, in London, Moscow, Mexico City and so on. It is a huge company.

Recently, Uber came to Corpus and just in time for Spring Break. However, the Corpus Christi City Council approved new regulations that require the drivers to be fingerprinted during background checks. As a result, Uber pulled its services that same day the regulations were set to take effect. The city of Corpus Christi is not the first to pull the plug on Uber; Galveston and Midland put in place the same regulations and Uber reacted the same way.

In a way, it looks like Uber is trying to hide something if they pull out because of these regulations on fingerprinting. If I were to use Uber, I would feel 100 percent comfortable being in the vehicle with a driver who passed a background check. Of course, to apply as a driver they may have to go through the same process, but having the city as a second pair of eyes overlooking the drivers would be nice. I want to be safe in the vehicle but also know that I won’t be scammed.

Local taxi services have to go through these same regulations so why can’t Uber? If they are all over the world they must follow each city’s and country’s laws so, why can they not agree to something simple as scanning a finger?

It would have been nice to have a different taxi service around the city. Especially with the pothole problem around the city streets, I’d rather not ruin my own tires and shock absorbers, which cost hundreds of dollars to replace. Uber is a really nice idea and it seems to be working around the world, just not in Corpus Christi. Hopefully, in the future they come back and accept the regulations. Until then, sorry Uber.

Brittany Claramunt

Brittany Claramunt is a reporter for the Del Mar College Foghorn. She joined the staff in Spring 2016 as a first year college student. Brittany majors in Radio and Television and hopes to one day become an aspiring television news anchor. You can contact Brittany via e-mail at bclaramunt@foghornnews.com or follow her on Twitter @BrittClaramunt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *