In order to let their cars pick up passengers at Boston's Logan Airport, Uber and Lyft agreed to let Massachusetts run its own background checks on drivers. Over 70,000 drivers applied for the checks, according to CNN, and when the results came out on Wednesday, more than 10% of them did not pass. The most common reasons were previously suspended licenses, driving offenses,and being licensed to drive for less than the required three years, reports the Boston Herald. More frightening, though, is that over 1,400 drivers had previously been convicted of violent crimes, while others had been convicted of "sex, abuse and exploitation." According to the state, 51 sex offenders were driving for the companies. The rejected drivers were reportedly kicked to the curb by the companies following the results, but may appeal the decision.
Lyft and Uber do background checks on their drivers, but they only investigate the past seven years of a driver's life. The Massachusetts checks looked into their entire lives, and somewhat controversially included people who had avoided guilty convictions, either by negotiating with the court or having their cases dismissed. In a statement, Uber said the new screening was "unfair and unjust" and "has caused thousands of people in Massachusetts to lose access to economic opportunities." ML