Transportation Policy

California Targets Taxi Alternatives for Shut-Down

They haven't jumped through the state's hoops, so everybody could die in a fiery blaze of death

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State regulators have issued cease-and-desist orders against two more firms that bill themselves as high-tech alternatives to the way taxi companies usually operate.

The latest orders were issued in August by the California Public Utilities Commission and assert that the companies—SideCar and Lyft—lack the required charter party carrier permits that make sure drivers are properly licensed, screened and insured to carry commercial passengers.

"Right now the concern is that if I were to be picked up by one of these cars and there is some kind of accident, that (driver's) insurance company may deny that claim," said Frank Lindh, the commission's general counsel. "And I would be stuck with those medical bills."