FBI background checks (Uber/Lyft) may well see support within legislative session. The resentment over the disparity is clearly evident in most taxi ranks. Anti-Uber stickers grace many taxi cabs. The fallout and battle scars from the taxi industry’s rivalry are all too apparent. The logo of the company is within a red circle complete with diagonal strike through. It has been almost 12 months since Lyft and Uber began operating in Las Vegas. Lyft and Uber drivers outnumber cabbies in Las Vegas where once cabbies populated the strip and airport. The cabbies market and margins have also been cut. Cabbies and taxi firms though have not done demanding tighter controls and regulation for ride hailing companies. Essentially this boils down to one issue and that is FBI background checks.
The cabbies industry has deliberated over time as to the disparity of screening. Maintaining the pre employment screening falls some way short of the more rigorous as the FBI background checks they are subject to. Further arguing that the procedure and criteria for ride-hailing companies is a non starter. Some also put forward it is leverage to ease out ride hailing cabs. Lyft and Uber bailed out of Austin, Texas after voters upheld an ordinance in May that required FBI background checks. Taxi companies contest FBI background checks are critical to public safety. Several sources within the cab industry comment on interest in bringing FBI background checks to Nevada. Implementing this would require new legislation.
A lawyer representing Frias Transportation Management confirms there is intense interest over background checks due to public safety concerns. The company operates one of the largest cab firms in Las Vegas. A Frias Lobbyist separately confirmed the firm’s legislative plan is still being finalised. Much being litigated within the previous legislative session. Legislature passed the framework for regulating Lyft and Uber in 2015. They were later operating in Clark County in the Fall. Tensions continue as the two protagonists co-exist.