Uber and Lyft are in the news because more than 8,000 potential drivers were banned in Massachusetts after background checks turned up convictions for violent felonies and sex-crimes, uncontested court charges, driver’s license suspensions and traffic violations. Uber and Lyft usually run their own background, and those typically go back seven years. But to get access to the lucrative ride business out of Boston’s Logan Airport, the companies agreed to abide by Massachusetts’ state checks that are much more comprehensive. Uber said in a statement that “The new screening includes an unfair and unjust indefinite lookback period” for would-be drivers. Lyft didn’t respond to a request for comment by our deadline. Business lecturer Peter Cohan at Babson College said the companies would do well to embrace the more stringent requirements. “Ultimately, their long-term survival, I think, depends in part on the absence of these bad stories,” he said.
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