Taxis

California's Passes Regulations on Ride-Sharing Services

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Ben Bergman of KPCC is reporting on his twitter feed that California's Public Utilities Commission has unanimously passed regulations on ride-sharing services such as

 Uber and Lyft.

Some details from San Diego Union Tribune (from yesterday, before the regs apparently passed):

Ridesharing companies say their self-policing is rigorous and that traditional competitors are just worried about a superior model of business that targets tech-savvy passengers. But there are no statewide rules requiring a DMV or criminal background check for drivers. And no agency ensures these businesses charge consistent fares or regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles.

Such concerns have led to lawsuits and other efforts to stop or curtail ridesharing in certain regions, including San Diego County and Los Angeles. The California Public Utilities Commission is the first statewide body in the United States to consider comprehensive regulation of this industry.

In December 2012, the agency began drafting a host of proposed rules on safety, training and other operations. The five-member commission, which oversees everything from railroads to power companies, is scheduled to discuss the issue on Thursday in San Francisco.

The measure before the CPUC would:

  • Mandate criminal background checks for drivers
  • Establish a driver training program
  • Require drivers to obtain a license through the utilities commission
  • Require companies maintain a minimum $1 million per-incident insurance policy
  • Establish a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol for drivers

Several ridesharing companies reached by U-T San Diego said they've pushed for a streamlined set of rules, but are generally supportive of regulation because it will legitimize their operations.

Reason on ride-share services. It's not unusual for participants in an industry to prefer regulation to fighting off local and state government at every turn; that doesn't necessarily mean its better for consumers.

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  1. That list of regulations is sickeningly goody tissues. I like to think that my cabdriver is driving a cab because shit in his past caught up to him, iow, a well rounded fellow, a not some clueless numbnuts.

    1. a well rounded fellow, a not some clueless numbnuts.

      Should I put a ‘and’ there, or not? I know! Split that baby.

    2. ’tissues’?

      I’m giving the blog a rest until the pm links.

  2. Just once, I’d like to see a business do well without some goddamned bureaucrat trying to piss all over it.

    -jcr

    1. That requires first burning down the bureaucracy, as success draws them like flies to a carcass.

  3. And no agency ensures these businesses charge consistent fares or regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles.

    What a load of horse shit. The way an NYC cab passes inspection is someone sticks $200 in the visor for the apparatchik to take home off the books. If that money’s not there, the cab’s not going to pass, period. If the money IS there, they don’t care if it’s missing three wheels and a windshield.

    -jcr

  4. Mandate criminal background checks for drivers

    So lets make it even harder for those convicted of a crime to make an honest living. Yeah that will work out well. I so fucking care that the guy driving my cab or my ride or whatever got caught up in a petty drug deal or got mad and beat up one of his old g/fs. God these people are evil.

    1. I pretty much assume that all non-Habib cab drivers are former or current criminals.

      1. Me too. That is the kind of job you get when you get out of jail. They have to do something don’t they?

    2. Do you want a driver with a long history of drinking and driving?

      1. It depends. Is he buying?

      2. If he is not drunk when he picks me up, what do I care?

      3. Are current DUI laws not sufficient?

  5. “there are no statewide rules requiring a DMV or criminal background check for drivers. And no agency ensures these businesses charge consistent fares or regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles.”

    Oh. My. God.

    What have we libertarians done here?

  6. Don’t even think about without asking permission…

  7. If my neighbor in the same apartment building works a block away from me and gives me gas money because I let him ride with me to work since he doesn’t own a car, do I need to pass a regular piss test?

  8. My city over regulates the taxi industry to include setting rates. They always complain about a shortage of taxis and the need for greater regulation. You can try explaining price controls until you’re blue in the face but they are economic illiterates. Every. Last. One.

    Speaking of economics, has anyone read Human Action? Is it written for the layman?

    1. Even worse is that quite a few cities have gone after Uber et al. for charging *too low*.

      1. well that’s just brilliant.

    2. San Francisco has so few taxis that when you call for one to go anywhere other than the airport, it’s a crapshoot as to whether one will show up at all.

  9. Yes, we need a commission to vet drivers. We can’t just using online reviews and ratings. An expert must tell us what to think.

  10. If you don’t know the true cost of illegal taxis just watch this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..be&t=4m49s

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