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Report calls for stronger background checks in Pa. for Lyft drivers

HARRISBURG, Pa. — How safe do you feel in a ride-share? A new state report wants Lyft to strengthen it’s background check process on drivers and improve criminal monitoring functions.

“My experiences with Lyft, they’ve been pretty decent. I can say that I haven’t had a negative one,” said Kenneth Tucker.

“I tend to avoid them,” Maddie Swan said.

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“I tend to avoid them as much as possible if I’m alone,” Mina Hagan said.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Friday released a detailed review of the process used by the rideshare company.

Noting Lyft’s inability to, or refusal to, provide specific data, the report includes seven recommendations for improvement:

  1. Document detailed operating policies and procedures.
  2. Strengthen the background check process and the continuous criminal monitoring function.
  3. Develop a partnership with transportation industry participants to build a database to readily identify/flag users that have been terminated/deactivated due to serious safety issues.
  4. Create and track performance metrics and establish goals for each.
  5. Leverage technology to reduce the level of insufficient information in the complaint investigation process.
  6. Implement, redesign, and /or improve safety related features of the mobile app.
  7. Track the cause of all driver and rider deactivations and maintain a database of such deactivations.

According to the PUC, Lyft submitted an implementation plan after completion of the review which partially accepts the recommendations and details how those matters will be addressed moving forward.

>>>RELATED: Former Lyft driver accused of sexually assaulting female passenger

A spokesperson for Lyft sent Channel 11 a statement:

“We are grateful to the PUC for their partnership on this report. Throughout the Audit, Lyft provided the Commission with information about our background check process, general operations, driver onboarding, and Safety team. The Commission also met with multiple subject matter experts at Lyft. We have responded to each of their recommendations in our Implementation Plan.”

The company said it employs a “multi-tiered criminal screening process” through two background check companies and conducts driving record checks among other things.