Boston Police Commissioner Questions Safety Of Uber App

By Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Police Commissioner William Evans says he wants more public regulation of what he calls “gypsy cabs.”

The commissioner on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 last night, singled out a popular mobile app Uber, which connects drivers with passengers.

The 3-year-old business with hundreds of thousands of users now operates in 75 cities and 29 countries. It is easy to use. Users punch it up, choose from three levels of service, then it describes the driver and car. Users can watch as the ride arrives at the location.

However, Monday night on NightSide with Dan Rea, Evans questioned the level of safety and security provided by these new app services because they are not subject to the same level of scrutiny as traditional cabs.

“These Uber services, there could be a Level 3 sex offender driving that cab,” Evans said.

Meghan Joyce works for Uber in Boston.

“That is just patently false,” she said. “The fact is, our background checks are the strictest in the city, the strictest in the industry.”

Today Evans stood by his call for more public oversight of services like Uber.

“They regulate themselves. We are just concerned with who is driving the cab and are they of suitable character? And right now there is no mechanism to make sure of that,” Evans said.

However, the mayor did not seem concerned.

“As long as they do backgrounds we are fine with them. Uber is very popular,” Mayor Marty Walsh said.

The app seems to be getting more popular every day.

However, Boston Cab Dispatch has filed a federal lawsuit claiming Uber is ignoring decades of rules and regulations. Uber says it is not a transportation service but rather, a connection service for drivers and passengers.


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