Sexual assaults rose sharply in recent years: Lyft report

AP – Lyft received an increasing number of reports of sexual assault in recent years, including more than 1,800 in 2019, according to a safety report from the ride-hailing company.

More than half of the assaults in 2019 were “non-consensual touching of a sexual body part” and another 156 involved non-consensual sexual penetration, according to the report.

The report also listed 10 fatal assaults from 2017 through 2019, including four in 2019.

Lyft released the figures nearly two years after larger rival Uber put out a similar report that showed more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported on rides within the United States (US) in 2018. Lyft pledged in 2019 to put out its own report.

The ride-hailing companies have come under increasing scrutiny over safety issues, especially sexual assaults.

Lyft Inc said the number of sexual-assault reports collected on its app rose from 1,096 in 2017 to 1,255 in 2018 and 1,807 in 2019 as its business grew.

The company said it investigates safety incidents through “correspondence with drivers and riders”, police reports and other information.

The San Francisco-based company said it screens all drivers with initial and annual background checks and monitors criminal and driving records.

Vehicles that are part of the Lyft ride-hailing fleet sit unused in a lot near Empower Field at Mile High in Denver. PHOTO: AP