Ariana Lubelli Jun 26, 2017, 8:05 pmJun 26, 2017, 8:05 pm

Discussions heat up between ridesharing apps, County

Westchester County Legislators and officials spoke to Uber and Lyft about safety issues in their ride-sharing apps

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"You're trying to bully us like you've bullied every other single jurisdiction,” said Mike Kaplowitz, Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

In a packed room, local legislators and county officials spoke to Uber and Lyft about concerns when it comes to the rider-sharing service, specifically safety.

"Name checks are wonderful but it's the fingerprint that ensures that person is who they say they are," added Legislator MaryJane Shimsky.

While Uber and Lyft require annual background checks, enhanced nationwide criminal search, sex offender registry searches, motor vehicle records on their drivers, to name a few, they do not conduct fingerprinting.

"The FBI fingerprint database who built for criminal law enforcement purposes and not for employment checks because it's only as good as the data that goes into it," said Josh Gold, policy director for Uber.

Legislators say they're not in favor of banning Uber, but if the proper safety measures aren't implemented and an agreement can't be reached, that may be their next move.

"We're just concerned that Uber and Lyft play by the rules and bring backgrounds, fingerprinting, to these drivers,” added Legislator Kaplowitz. “There are going to be some people, unfortunately, that are drivers, that should not be and we're worried that people are going to get hurt.”

It's unclear if the county does decide to opt out of Uber services when they go into effect on Wednesday, if in fact, Uber is willing to negotiate that aspect and amend their policies for the county. They asked the Uber policy director for the state.

"We believe the thorough background check process – the name-based background check process – that the state enacted after two and half years of negotiation, as well as the participation in the license event notification, is a good process, is a good system and were happy to abide by those background checks that New York State requires."

There will be a public meeting held on Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. for residents to voice their concerns when it comes to Uber or Lyft in the county.

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