City Adds Incentives to Ride-Share Driver Screening Program; New Ride-Share Start-Up Enters S.A. Market

By Morgan Montalvo


The city and San  Antonio Police Department are upping their game in hopes of convincing  area ride-share drivers to sign up for official screening and background  checks.

At Tuesday evening's  ride-share rally at Paramour, police and municipal officials kicked off  an "incentivizing" program that speeds up driver validation, offers gas  gift cards for participation, and will hold drawings for bigger prizes  in the coming weeks.

Steven Baum,  SAPD Assistant Director in charge of ride-share compliance, says so far  444 drivers have applied for the enhanced background screenings.

"We've had  just over 300 that have completed it," Baum said. "I'd like to get up to  600 before Fiesta starts, and then a thousand before the end of the  summer."

Baum says Fiesta would be a good time for San Antonians who have not tried ride-sharing as an alternative to driving to do so.

Also at Tuesday's  validation kick-off, new start-up DRIV announced its entry into the  local ride-share market. Co-founder Larry Garza said DRIV will differ  from established operators by not engaging in the industry pricing  practice known as "surging" - hiking rider fees at peak periods that  include bar closings and the end of sports contests.

"If it costs you $40 to  go to a Spurs game using ride-share, it would be really nice to know  it's going to cost you $40 to go home," Garza said.

Garza says  his company will ensure that all of its drivers undergo fingerprinting,  background checks and drug screening. DRIV is now accepting rider  applications and will launch its rider phone app in about 10 days, he  said.



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