2021Transportation Network Companies
Transportation Network Companies

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Lyft – a popular transportation network company (TNC) in the United States – received more than 4,000 reports of sexual assaults on its ride-sharing service from 2017 to 2019, according to a Community Safety Report released by the company that detailed the frequency of some of the most serious safety incidents reported.

Based on feedback from riders and drivers, the report found sexual assault reports received by Lyft increased in each of the three years, from 1,096 incidents in 2017 to 1,255 incidents in 2018 and 1,807 incidents in 2019, for a total of 4,158 incidents. However, the company said that “safety incidents on Lyft are statistically very rare.”

In a blog titled “Lyft’s Community Safety Report” posted on October 21, 2021, Lyft Head of Policy Development and Research Jennifer Brandenburger explained that the “type of safety incidents detailed in this report occurred on 0.0002% of rides, and well over 99% of all rides occur without any safety report at all.”

Brandenburger said the rates of safety incidents were “in line with” what had been reported by Uber, a rival TNC of Lyft’s that released a safety report for 2017 and 2018 that disclosed the “vast majority (99.9%) of Uber trips end without any safety-related issue at all” and that only “0.0003% of trips had a report of a critical safety incident.”

Brandenburger continued: “We screen everyone who drives with Lyft before they give a single ride. We require initial and annual background checks, continuous criminal and driving record monitoring, as well as community safety education created in consultation with RAINN, North America’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.”

“Gig economy” firms such as Lyft and Uber that facilitate on-demand services for consumers provided by relative strangers will continue to try to build trust through background checks of workers, according to Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), which compiled the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2021.

Background checks are essential to building trust in the “trust economy” – another name for the gig economy – ESR founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Attorney Lester Rosen explained. “Generally accepted background screening protocols would be of great benefit to both providers and consumers,” he wrote in a blog on the trend.

“The obvious solution is for firms in the trust economy to formulate a nationally accepted standardized approach to due diligence and background checks. The keywords are ‘nationally accepted.’ Merely creating self-serving industry standards that benefit the gig marketplace will not go nearly far enough,” Rosen concluded.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check firm ranked the #1 screening firm by HRO Today in 2020 – offers employers background checks for on demand workers that make up the extended workforce in the fast growing “gig economy.” To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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