Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft are already operating illegally here in Houston. The city council is debating the rules which would make them legal for about two months now and one of the big sticking points is your safety.
Those services aren't regulated like the taxis are. Roman Martinez of the Greater Houston Transportation Company says he doesn't like it.
“We don’t know what kind of checks those services are providing. You don’t know whose car you’re getting into.” Martinez told KTRH. “Since they are illegal here in Houston they probably aren’t even doing background checks.”
But background checks don't always work. A San Antonio cab driver was recently arrested on child porn charges. Martinez says that would not happen here.
“We do our own checks on top of the ones the city does. Our drivers go through extensive FBI and Homeland Security background checks. We want to make sure those rude sharing services do those checks, too,” Martinez explained.
City Council member Mike Laster told KTRH Martinez and other cab companies should prepare for competition if they pass the smell test.
“As we invite new companies into the market we want to create a fair competitive model and not a predatory one,” Laster said. “The market is changing in relation to vehicles for hire.”
Uber and Lyft have already racked up over 150 citations that haven't been prosecuted. A vote on the rules is coming next month.