Council to decide penalties for unchecked ridesharing drivers

(KXAN File Photo)
(KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The rules about fingerprint background checks could change for ridesharing drivers. The Austin City Council will vote Thursday on penalties for companies who are failing to fingerprint background check their drivers.

This type of check is what drove Uber and Lyft out of the city. With new companies taking over to pick up the Austinites left without a ride, city officials are finding there is little recourse for companies who are not fingerprinting their drivers.

The Council will look to make amendments to the ordinance. It would require monthly data reports from ridesharing companies on the number of drivers fingerprinted.

Procedures for driver to get their background checks will be decided. Additionally, penalties will be put into place for companies that don’t comply, potentially losing their ability to operate in the city.

“Either we think fingerprint is critical to the public safety and going to require it, or we don’t think it is critical,” said Councilwoman Ellen Troxclair.

The City is asking companies to have at least 50 percent of their drivers fingerprinted by Aug. 1. Troxclair said a proposed ordinance would fine companies that don’t submit a report.

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