It seems the revolutionary ride-hailing app is once again in the headlines at the start of another week, and for all the wrong reasons.
As was widely reported over the weekend, Uber is now dealing with the PR fallout from the shootings in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Saturday night, allegedly by an Uber driver who may have even picked up a fare in between shootings.
(Indeed, one passenger’s harrowing tale of his trip with the alleged gunman, identified as Jason Dalton, on the night of the shootings, can be found here.)
According to the story in the Chicago Tribune, a spokeswoman for Uber confirmed that Dalton was a driver for the company, but she declined to say whether he was driving Saturday night.
The Trib story also notes:
Uber prohibits both passengers and drivers from possessing guns of any kind in a vehicle. Anyone found to be in violation of the policy may be prohibited from using or driving for the service.
While the alleged shooter had no criminal background, this incident nonetheless brings up a very difficult question for Uber going forward. Given the loose structure and general lack of corporate oversight of Uber’s workforce, how can the company assure its customers that the next time they get into an Uber driver’s vehicle, they won’t be entering a possible crime scene?