At least one Los Angeles City Council member thinks the very idea of people being able to pay whomever they want to drive them to wherever they want is fundamentally insane. And even the California’s Public Utilities Commission “legalizing” ride-sharing services by putting them under its regulatory authority isn’t enough for him. He wants the city to fight it. The Los Angeles Times reports:
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.”
Just people driving around like they own the place! In their regular cars! Does Koretz even realize how he sounds by describing what millions of Americans do every single day as a threat to public safety? That probably every single ride-share user probably has at least a half-dozen horror stories about dealing with those “safer,” “regulated” taxis — problems that helped drive them off into the arms of Uber and Lyft in the first place — is probably not a concern to him.
Follow this story and more at Reason 24/7.
Spice up your blog or Website with Reason 24/7 news and Reason articles. You can get the widgets here. If you have a story that would be of interest to Reason's readers please let us know by emailing the 24/7 crew at firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet us stories at @reason247.