Video: Why are Cities Like LA and SF at War with Uber and Lyft?


District attorneys in both Los Angeles and San Francisco have served Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar letters stating that these companies are operating illegally within the state. The popular ridesharing companies could face legal action if changes aren't made to their services. 

Topping the list of complaints was the allegation that all three had misled their consumers on safety matters and drivers' background checks. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón wants the firms to remove language from their sites and mobile apps that claims background checks show a driver's complete criminal history. 

The complaint also states that the way each company calculates their rideshare service fees is also against state law because it allows passengers going to the same place to split fares. 

This isn't the first time companies like Uber and Lyft have been targeted. Earlier in September, the California Public Utilities Commission sent warning letters to the companies stating their services violated state carpool laws. 

And earlier this year, the state of Virginia tried to ban Uber and Lyft from operating within the state, but the Department of Motor Vehicles quickly reversed the ban in July after they agreed to submit to stricter and more thorough background checks on drivers. 

Back in 2013, Reason TV documented the war on Uber in Washington, D.C., and the powerful taxi lobby in the nation's capital.  Written and directed by Rob Montz. Original release date was October 22, 2013, and the original writeup is below the fold. 

The on-demand car service Uber is one of the most inventive transportation technologies of the new century. In over 20 countries—and two dozen U.S. cities—Uber uses a smartphone app to connect people who need rides with drivers of a range of vehicles from luxury towncars to regular taxis.

Like most powerful innovations, Uber disrupts the status quo by competing with established business interests. In Washington, D.C., the service was an instant hit with city residents—and almost as quickly found itself at odds with D.C.'s powerful taxi lobby and its allies on the city council. 

The result was the Uber Wars, which ended in a striking victory for the company and its customers.

Related Article: "Driving in the Future: How Regulators Try to Crush Uber, Lyft, and New Ride-Sharing Ventures." 

About 10 minutes.

Written and directed by Rob Montz (follow him on Twitter @robmontz) and executive produced by William Beutler at Beutler Ink (@BeutlerInk). For more information and inquiries, email