Uber responds to questions of safety

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– A few clicks online will now get you a car ride wherever you need to go. It’s through the 4-year-old global company called Uber, a ride-share taxi alternative that can be used through an app on you smart phone.

Drivers for the service also sign up online, and use their own car and insurance.

Now, one of the company’s Boston drivers is being accused of sexually assaulting a woman customer, which has some concerned over the safety of the service. Uber Spokesperson Taylor Bennett told 22News each driver currently goes through a background check that looks at the last 7 years of records.

“A rigorous check of local, multi-state, and federal background checks and those include everything from sexual offenses to violent crimes to driving records, social security traces,” Bennett said.

In response to the Boston incident specifically Bennette referred 22News to the following statement:

“This is a despicable crime and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim during her recovery. Uber has been working closely with law enforcement and will continue to do everything we can to assist their investigation.”

Some people in Springfield told 22News they feel the benefits and convenience of the service outweigh the risks.
Maayan Melamed has used the service while traveling in Boston and New York City. “I would still use it. I think there is a risk anytime you get into a taxi or any sort of service like that,” Melamed said.

Uber is also currently facing a lawsuit filed against them in California which questions how comprehensive their background checks are. Prosecutors in that case argue the company does not require finger printing.

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