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L.A. Council Considers Challenge Against Ride-Sharing Services

The Los Angeles City Council is weighing a challenge to the app-driven ride-sharing companies that have been offering an alternative to driving or hailing taxicabs.

Councilman Paul Koretz is pushing for his colleagues to appeal a recent decision by the Public Utilities Commission allowing companies such as Lyft and SideCar to operate with regulation at the statewide level. The council is set to meet Friday behind closed doors to discuss the idea with city lawyers.

Passengers using ride-sharing services schedule their trips using the companies' mobile phone apps, and almost always pay a fare lower than those charged for taxis. The drivers are frequently private citizens using their own cars.

Koretz said that arrangement makes them "21st century bandit cabs" and argued that companies like Lyft, whose drivers adorn their cars with pink mustaches, are a threat to public safety.

“They’re not regulated the way taxis are, so we don’t really know what their background checks are like, or whether we can count on them,” he said. “We don’t know what conditions their vehicles are in. I see crummy cars with mustaches all over town -- just people in their own regular cars, driving.

Source: LA Times. Read full article. (link)

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