Local Cab Driver Sees Decrease in Business after Lyft Launch
MCALLEN – A new way to travel around the Rio Grande Valley is causing some worries to local taxi cab drivers.
Maggie Sanchez is going into her second month of Lyft driving in the Rio Grande Valley.
“I love doing it. I enjoy doing this,” she said.
Lyft started in the Valley about two months ago. And currently, Lyft drivers aren’t paying extra to municipalities to do their jobs.
Rio Grande Valley taxi drivers can’t say the same.
“There’s permits that you have to buy yearly. And you have to keep updating yearly,” taxi cab manager Oscar Delgado said.
He runs his family's taxi business in McAllen. However, it could soon turn into a part-time job.
“Actually I was on my way to a job interview. Since business has been decreasing, I do feel like it’s responsible to try to branch out a little bit,” Delgado said.
He said Lyft caused him to downsize from three cabs to two. He mentioned nearly a quarter of his business is going to Lyft.
“I would say that about 20 to 25 percent is not far fetched,” Delgado said.
Using Lyft can be pretty simply. People just download the app, make a request and their ride shows up. However, some people have voiced their concerns.
“Well I wouldn’t want to be alone with some random person, because, potentially, it could be dangerous. You know, you don’t get in cars with strangers,” Mary Medina said.
Sanchez passed Lyft inspection before hitting the road.
“It takes about two weeks. They really check you. They make sure you have no priors of anything,” she said.
According to the company’s website, they check for violent crimes, felonies, drug related offenses, sexual offenses, certain theft or property damages and driving records.
Taxi cab drivers must complete criminal and DMV background checks through Texas DPS before being granted permits.
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