In the past two weeks, there have been two separate incidents involving the personal safety of for-hire drivers in Charlotte.
Tuesday morning, an Uber driver’s car was hit by gunfire in northeast Charlotte. The driver was not injured, but his car was struck by several bullets. It’s unclear if he was going to pick up a passenger when the shooting happened.
Uber employee Marlo Medina-Chevez was last seen alive by family members when he went to pick up a customer. The body of the 44-year-old husband and father was discovered last week in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Two men have been charged in connection to his death. It’s unclear exactly why he was killed.
Lyft driver Terrance Taylor said he doesn’t let safety concerns bother him while he’s picking up customers.
“It’s not really a big issue for me, but I’m still a little worried about it,” said Taylor.
Taylor said he has been driving for Lyft for a few months. While his safety concerns aren’t major, the Lyft driver admits that some of his customers have been questionable.
"Some of the people I pick up they take me down to a little iffy place and it's like some apartment down in the cut and I get a little worried then,” said Taylor.
The driver said that he has had a customer ask if it was okay to smoke marijuana in his vehicle. He said he has also had a customer run frantically to the car and urge him to drive away quickly.
“Stuff gets sketchy. It's just how you perceive it, how you take it,” said Taylor.
Taylor said he carries pocket knives with him while he drives as a safety precaution. He said friends and family members have asked him if he needs more protection.
“You can take the car. I can replace the car. I got insurance on the car. Just don't take my life. Please don't take my life,” said Taylor.
Taylor said he has never found himself in a dangerous situation while driving for Lyft.
On their respective websites, both Uber and Lyft claim to be committed to passenger and driver safety. Both companies have an emergency response line that can be called regarding safety concerns.