BOSTON (CBS) – Ride sharing apps are in Massachusetts to stay, as long as Governor Charlie Baker signs off on new legislation out of Beacon Hill.
Taxi Driver Hassan Saiid says the competition will drive him out. “I don’t know what to do. I might leave and go to another state, because I cannot work here,” Saiid said. “I can’t even support my family.”
The new regulations call for Uber and Lyft drivers to get certificates. Background checks will largely stay the same, but the companies will now have to turn driver histories over to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.
Even though one proposal called for fingerprinting, which Boston taxi drivers are subject to, legislators stopped short of that for Uber and Lyft. Boston Police Commissioner William Evans says he wouldn’t want his daughter to use Uber. “I’m all about public safety, and they’re all about profit,” Evans said. “I’m disappointed that they didn’t go with my side because I have no skin in the game here, other than making sure people are safe.”
Evans said Monday the goal of fingerprinting drivers is to identify those with histories of violent crimes and sexual assaults — not minor crimes. He says police already fingerprint cab drivers.
The new bill requires a 20 cent fee for every ride, allows ride share companies to pick up at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, and gives Massport the go-ahead to let them pick up at Logan Airport.
Governor Charlie Baker says he hasn’t had a chance to look at the plan’s details. “We believe it’s critically important that there be a substantial and ongoing background check process. There was a lot of debate about what the best way to get that done was.”
Uber and Lyft applaud the new deal. Lyft Spokesperson Adrian Durbin says, “This bill expands consumer choice and encourages innovation, and we urge Governor Charlie Baker to sign it into law when it reaches his desk.”
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