In March 2021, Uber and Lyft announced an initiative to share assault data. The rival companies have both been criticized for their handling of reported assaults by drivers. This recent initiative is a step the companies are taking to protect riders from abusive drivers.
The new program aims to stop abusive drivers from switching rideshare platforms following deactivation. The new program will be managed by a third-party company.
Uber & Lyft Launch Industry Sharing Safety Program
On March 11, 2021, Uber and Lyft published a joint press release announcing the new Industry Sharing Safety Program.
The companies will share information about drivers deactivated for serious safety concerns. The program will target drivers deactivated for sexual assault or fatal physical assaults. However, the companies will not share data about most non-fatal physical assaults.
By sharing information between these two companies, the program is designed to prevent the most dangerous, deactivated drivers from moving to new rideshare platforms.
“Safety should never be proprietary. You should be safe no matter what ridesharing platform you choose. We’re thrilled to come together with Lyft to improve safety for the entire industry.”
The third-party background screening company, HireRight, will manage the program. HireRight will collect and share relevant data between the rideshare companies. However, each rideshare company will choose how to respond to the shared information.
The new shared database will include ongoing and future reports, as well as assault reports from each company dating back to 2017.
In the future, the companies plan to open program participation to other rideshare and delivery companies.
Victim advocates and survivor organizations support the recent initiatives from the rideshare rivals.
“Uber and Lyft have demonstrated thoughtful leadership with the Industry Sharing Safety Program. By putting aside competition, they are placing users first and building a safer rideshare community for all. Sexual violence thrives in secrecy. Thanks to this initiative, perpetrators will no longer be able to hide or escape accountability by simply switching ridesharing platforms.”
History Of Assaults In Rideshare Industry
In the last several years, the rideshare industry has faced thousands of assault reports filed by users.
In 2019, Uber acknowledged that the company had received nearly 6,000 reports of sexual assault between 2017 and 2018. This number includes reported sexual assault committed by drivers and passengers. Lyft has not released similar data.
Uber and Lyft have been criticized for the safety of their services and for their handling of reported assaults. In fact, both companies are facing numerous rideshare assault lawsuits.
Following multiple lawsuits, each company has taken some action to address the safety of the services. However, Lyft has been further criticized for its slow or inadequate actions.
Future Rideshare Safety Initiatives
Rideshare assault survivors have made public allegations to the media and in lawsuit filings. Survivors have courageously spoken out against the companies’ past failures for victims and negligence.
By doing so, these survivors have initiated a significant change in the rideshare industry. However, many critics still argue the companies aren’t doing enough to protect people who use their services.
Duffy, K. (2021, March 12). Uber and Lyft are now sharing data on drivers that have been banned for sexual or physical assault. Other delivery companies will join the program, they said. Business Insider.
O’Brien, S.A. (2021, March 11). Uber and Lyft to finally share names of drivers deactivated over sexual assault and other serious incidents. CNN.
Walsh, J. (2021, March 11). Rivals Uber And Lyft Will Share Reports Of Sexual Assault By Drivers. Forbes.
(2021, March 11). Leading Rideshare Companies Launch Industry Sharing Safety Program in the U.S. [Press Release]. Business Wire.