Editorial: Uber drivers are people, too
In a busy area such as Northridge, with college students walking, living and driving, somebody is bound to bump into someone else. Alcohol may be involved, or some other intoxicating substance. If that person still has a charged phone, he/she can call on an Uber.
This advantage saves anyone who may put their life in danger. It is also convenient, for Uber and other services are now providing rides to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). With cheaper prices, it should come as a benefit to those who need to get to their flight.
Adding on to this is the likelihood of Uber providing its services to other companies and industries that could benefit from it.
A side effect, however, is how it will hurt taxi driving jobs, cutting the amount of money that yellow cab businesses make. Although some fares between taxis and Ubers may be close to identical, but that does not mean that one does not have a greater reach than the other.
Although there is concern among the members of the Sundial Editorial Staff about the loss of taxi jobs, there is a substantial worry about who the Uber jobs are going to. Background checks are used in hiring people to drive, but this does not always assure people who put immense trust in Uber.
Several cases of student harassment have been documented in Texas, New York, Florida and North Carolina. Many of these cases affected college students who wanted put their trust in a stranger, a stranger who serves the same purpose as any driving service person would have.
If there is a lack of trust there between the passenger(s) and driver, perhaps it begins with helping out the driver, particularly if the driver happens to be a student. Pushing the assaults aside, the low insurance and non-minimum wage level prices likely do not give some Uber drivers enough confidence in their job. Further regulation and add-ons to the background checks will also push away any interested soon-to-be Uber employee.
Fees may go up, but this will not strengthening an already burgeoning company. So as this may not be the best option that ties with their best interest, free rides for college students could be a viable option, no? Then where does the money come from for the employees?
Tying all of this together is the other suggestion provided by the Editorial board: an indoor camera. This addition may ensure the enduring security of all passengers and also the prevention of some (perhaps most) of the assaults that can happen in an Uber.
Revisions clearly need to be made to Uber cars, especially after listening to Editorial board members who have had bad experiences in the back seat or bad experiences in the front behind the wheel. Either way, the college student/Uber driver relationship needs to improve. Do not forget, those who drive Uber cars are as human as everyone else.