Cab union calls for more Uber screening

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CHICAGO -- The Chicago United Taxi Drivers Community Council - or UTCC - is calling on the city to better regulate the so-called ride share industry after two Uber drivers have been recently charged with sexually assaulting customers.

Uber driver Adnan Nafasat is accused of sexually assaulting a 21-year-old male customer in July in Boystown. Nafasat was charged Friday.  Driver Maxime Fohounhedo's case involves a 22-year-old female customer picked up in River North in November. Prosecutors charged him in late December.

The taxi drivers' union is asking the  city council to immediately require all ride share drivers to undergo the same background checks as city cab drivers which include fingerprinting and drug testing.

The taxi drivers union also hopes the city will regulate rates of fare for ride companies like Uber and Lyft.

"Uber cuts corners and endangers the public safety," said UTCC Chairman Fayez Khozindar, pointing to a New York Times article, "Uber System for Screening Drivers Draws Scrutiny".

A statement from Uber said in part, "As a company, Uber take seriously our responsibility to deliver access to safe and reliable rides at the touch of a button. The three step screening we've developed across the u-s includes county, federal and multi-state checks and always meets or exceeds existing standards. Beyond this it also checks the national sex offender registry and motor-vehicle history of the driver."

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