With ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft now available in the Central New York area, some residents have questions about the safety of using the services. Here's the criteria Uber drivers have to fit in order to drive you to your destination.

Since Uber is the more popular of the two, we're going to focus on their driver requirements. This list of criteria is taken from Uber.com

Right off the bat, here's Uber's vehicle requirements:

Each Uber vehicle must have:

  • 4-doors and be able to carry a minimum of 4 passengers
  • must be 15 model years old or newer
  • title cannot be salvaged, reconstructed, or rebuilt
  • rental vehicles are not allowed on the Uber platform.
  • cannot have any cosmetic damage, missing pieces, commercial branding or taxi paint jobs.

So now you know your Uber is going to fit your group, and you won't be picked up in a vehicle that is rusted out and falling apart because it's from 1997.

Next, your driver must show Uber their proof of:

  • a valid driver's license
  • vehicle's registration
  • current vehicle insurance

As for the actual driver's experience and background, Uber is thorough when selecting their drivers.

Each driver must have had a U.S. driver's license for at least one year

If a driver is under 23 years old, he or she must have had a U.S. driver's license for at least three years

After all that, each and every Uber driver is required to pass a driver screening process.

This process includes a background check that is run through the website Checkr.com. 

Each driver must consent to this process, or they won't be allowed to drive. They then have to submit their social security number along with their driver's license number for a background check.

In addition to these rules, Uber also provides its riders with everything you'll need for a safe and secure ride.

Here's some more details about safe rides from Uber.com:

When you’re matched with a driver, you’ll see their name, license plate number, photo, and rating—so you know who’s picking you up ahead of time. And even after the trip, you’re able to contact your driver if you left something behind.

GPS data is logged for every trip so we know where and when you’re riding and who’s behind the wheel. It also helps us ensure that drivers are taking the best route every time.

Uber also provides you with a 'Rider Safety Guide' to make sure your trip is perfect. You can check out the guide at Uber.com.

Hopefully this makes you feel much better about using Uber and other ride sharing services in Central New York. After all, each driver is thoroughly screened and background checked, and you'll be picked up in a nice-looking vehicle for a comfortable ride.

And you'll always have access to the information of drivers who you rode with just in case a problem does occur.

Finally, you don't have to use cash or even a credit card to pay for your ride. You simply keep payment information on file with your account, and it is automatically charged after your ride.