New TV, radio spots urge San Antonians to demand City Council preserve fingerprint background check requirements for TNCs and taxis.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas – August 10, 2015 – TXRidesforHire.org, a ride-for-hire public safety advocacy site created by Yellow Cab and other transportation industry groups, today launched a paid media campaign in San Antonio focused on preserving the city’s industry-standard FBI fingerprint background check requirements for Transportation Network Company (TNC) drivers.
The :30 and :60 second television and radio advertisements running on stations throughout San Antonio feature San Antonian Alonzo Pena, a retired Deputy Assistant Secretary/Deputy Director of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, reminding viewers that it is irresponsible to allow people who have not undergone an FBI fingerprint background check to serve as ride-for-hire drivers. The ads urge viewers to call their City Council Members and ask them to preserve the current common sense background check requirements contained in city ordinances governing TNCs in San Antonio.
“All transportation companies whose drivers transport members of the public, whether they are cab companies, horse carriage operators, public bus drivers, or TNC companies should be held to the same background standard. The best standard to use is the one currently in place for cab drivers and other public transportation drivers, the 10-prints FBI background check. Further, if there is to be a relaxed standard for a certain segment of the transportation industry, it is very important for the general public to know that not all drivers are being screened by the same standard so that they are informed before they make a choice as to which type of public transportation service they wish to use.”
—Alonzo Pena, Retired Deputy Assistant Secretary/Deputy Director of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency
Fingerprinting is common for many professions, including for teachers, electricians, plumbers, physicians, daycare providers, and taxi drivers, and is standard practice in the ride-for-hire industry. TNCs like Uber and Lyft have resisted complying with this standard public safety requirement in cities throughout the U.S., and have aggressively lobbied San Antonio’s City Council to weaken its standards, despite numerous stories of TNC drivers sexually assaulting, attacking, or otherwise harming passengers and convicted felons being allowed to drive for TNCs. In Texas, recent incidents in Dallas and Houston involved convicted felons who had passed TNC background checks that allegedly committed sexual assaults against female passengers.
“In a time when stories about TNC drivers attacking passengers and TNCs allowing felons to drive for them are a near-daily occurrence, it would be completely irresponsible to weaken TNC background check requirements in San Antonio. Forcing passengers to choose between safe and unsafe drivers after a night on the town is bad public policy that will jeopardize their safety. The San Antonio City Council should preserve the FBI fingerprint background check requirements, and ensure that passengers get the safe drivers they expect and deserve.”
—John Bouloubasis, President, Yellow Cab San Antonio
This Thursday, August 13, the San Antonio City Council is scheduled to deliberate a proposal to allow TNC drivers to skip the current FBI fingerprint background check requirement. The proposed change would force passengers to choose between drivers who have passed the industry-standard FBI fingerprint background check requirements and drivers who have opted out of these vital public safety requirements.