On August 13, 2015, City Council authorized the City to enter into a temporary operating agreement with Lyft and other TNCs for a period of nine months. Uber began operations on October 13, 2015 and Lyft began on December 3, 2015.
As part of the 9 month pilot program agreement, the TNC companies pay $18,750, proof of insurance and vehicle inspection, and $1 per trip from the airport. TNC drivers can also receive a free background check from SAPD. If they pass the background check, TNC drivers can upload their verification number to the rideshare app.
This program provides consumer choice: it allows riders to choose a driver that has passed the background check program. Riders can see right there on the rideshare app screen whether their driver has the SAPD verification.
We have developed a multi-pronged outreach strategy to educate the community about the TNC background check program, aimed at TNC riders and drivers. We developed a short video, designed to share on social media. We’ve also reached out to drivers on our website and through Facebook, to educate them about the free, optional background check as a way to set themselves apart from other drivers. Also, you may have seen billboards displayed throughout the city during the holiday season.
As we continue to see new companies enter the market, we will continue to conduct this outreach effort.
Currently, 118 drivers have applied for the background check. While only 54 have completed the process, we are hopeful that as more drivers join the TNC companies, they will see the benefit of taking this extra step to verify their credibility. The SAPD ground transportation unit monitors the TNC services through monthly “secret shopper rides.” no significant issues have been revealed through this process.
Get me, a new TNC, plans to begin on January 14, 2016. This is a TNC that will take people places and pick them up, similar to Lyft and Uber, but it can also pick up and deliver items as well. In addition, there has been interest expressed by another company, called “Bid my Ride.”