Rideshare drivers on edge after Uber driver shot on SW Side

By Patty Santos - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - An attack on an Uber driver Thursday morning has rideshare drivers on alert.

Anthony, a driver for Uber who asked we not identify him by last name for fear he might be dropped by the company, said the money is quick and easy, but it is a dangerous job and the company’s policy favors customers.

“If we're driving at night, we get those people that are drunk. They are heavily intoxicated,” he said.

Anthony counted many times when clients have trashed his vehicle and said sometimes, customers can be rude and leave bad reviews. For the most part, he said most customers are fine, but there are a few that have gotten aggressive with him.

“I had one individual who actually tried to pick a fight with me because he thought I was looking at his girlfriend,” he said.

Company policy does not allow drivers to carry weapons, but some break the rule at the risk of being caught for their own safety.

“I know 12 drivers alone that carry some type of weapon on them. The drivers I know are licensed to carry,” he said. “They carry it on them because they have been attacked several times.”

He said those drivers won’t even report attempted robberies for fear of having to disclose that they used a weapon to defend themselves and being dropped by the rideshare company.

On Thursday, San Antonio police said an Uber driver was shot on the Southwest Side. They are still piecing together what led to the shooting.

Uber issued the following statement regarding the incident:

“We are terribly saddened by what’s been reported and are (sic) thoughts are with the driver and his family. We will work with police to help with their investigation.”

The company pointed to several features to help keep drivers safe, including an emergency button, hands-free pickups, Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere checks and 911 integration technology, which is available in more than 60 cities.

San Antonio police have asked drivers to keep safety in mind by assessing the customers before they allow them into the vehicles, carefully choosing the times and neighborhoods in which they work and considering installing a dash camera.

Anthony said with more people signing up to become drivers, there’s less money to go around. He said rideshare companies are also starting to take a bigger chunk of their pay, so it may not be worth the risk of continuing to be a driver.

Lyft issued the following statement regarding the incident:

"While this terrible incident did not happen on the Lyft platform, our hearts go out to the driver and all those impacted by this senseless violence." 

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