Like so many others who have provided the service of transportation to the public with ethics, insurance and proper vetting as their career of choice in the US, Douglas Schifter watched his livelihood, his investment in community, family and future slip away.
Not because of some proactive or safe development in transportation technology but rather because we as a civilization have turned our backs on accountability and compassion.
We have convinced ourselves that a cheap fast ride and unaccountable services are far more important than the epidemic of crime, uninsured operations or even our own safety and economic future when using the products and services of the so-called “gig” or “on demand” business model.
Companies like Uber, Lyft, postmates, AirBNB, AmazonFlex and Task Rabbit have established themselves with ponzi investment schemes, over blown social network campaigns and the passing off of THE WORST business models conceived in the 21st century.
While the owners of these businesses have made immense amounts of money in their first years of operation, they have cost the general public in an epidemic of crime, uninsured incidentals dumped on the tax paying public and now the failure of their businesses as the economic bubble bursts.
Not a single employee working for these businesses has ever reported a consistent or sustainable living wage.
IPO (public trading) speculations and the promise of new and better technologies like driverless vehicles that these companies have promised the public have all been exposed in recent months as nothing more than scheming bunkum to inflate investments in businesses without solvent assets or accountability.
THIS is what Douglas Schifter died for. He could not live with what he had lost, what he was facing or the prospect of watching more in his industry suffer as he did.
Nor could he lower his standards to the level of an Uber or Lyft driver by providing services without accountability or insurance for a fast buck.
THREE simple changes to regulations for ALL commercial providers would end this madness:
1- The mandate that all commercial transportation providers, Rideshare, taxi or otherwise maintain clear communication of commercial use of their vehicle to their own insurance providers and that these notifications and policies are posted for the PUBLIC in each vehicle.
2- The mandate that all vehicles providing commercial transportation services rideshare, taxi or otherwise have CLEAR and individualized (individual assigned number) marking on each vehicle to indicate it is properly registered and vetted by the service provider company or individual.
3- FINGERPRINT background checks equal to those used for vetting law enforcement officials for ALL drivers providing services.
Douglas Schifter died needlessly but he did not die in vain.