Uber Hit With $7.6 Million Fine For Failing to File Paperwork Related to Handicapped Access to California


I reported last July about "California Trying to Destroy Uber Over Data on Handicapped Access." The $7.6 million dollar blow against the ride-summoning app company for not adequately reporting legally-demanded data on its service to the disabled is actually falling, as Fortune reports:

The California Public Utilities Commission has voted to approve the $7.6 million fine on Uber. The company plans to pay the fine, though it will also appeal the decision….

In July, the Commission fined Uber $7.3 million for failing to comply with reporting requirements that ensure drivers don't discriminate against passengers when giving out rides. Uber appealed, but an administrative law judge produced a new decision on Wednesday that upped the fine to $7.6 million…

Recall, this is not about any proven pattern of discrimination, but merely about alleged failure to adequately report demanded data, though Uber claims it has complied with the state law on the matter.

Uber has been haunted by a series of anecdotes of individual drivers mistreating or badly serving disabled customers, though I and others have also heard plenty of such stories involving traditional cabbies as well, who have a very easy time of refusing service generally.

My 2014 feature on the regulatory war against Uber and other companies in its space. In it, I noted that many of Uber's enemies predicted California's PUC would be a tender-hearted facilitator of Uber and its competitors. Not looking quite that way now.

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  1. Someone just play two Glen Cambell songs on the julebox. I’m not really complaining. Just confused.

    1. Run. Because you’re either surrounded by hipsters or geezers and the assaults on your sanity and taste will continue.

      1. Shhhh Jibbles is a geezer.

      2. Bullshit.

        Glen Campbell is/was a cool dude.

        Don’t be fooled by glenn’s willingness to outwardly conform to social norms with the uber short haircut and conservative dress.

        Glenn was a hell raiser and non conformist in his personal life. He was just smart enough to put on the facade of conformity to make bank and have a celebtrated career.

        go Glen Go .

        Go Glen Campbell go !

        Glen was a bad man ( in a good way ) in a churchboy’s costume.

  2. The California Public Utilities Commission has voted to approve the $7.6 million fine on Uber.

    Has the commission ever voted not to approve a fine?

    1. Depends….have they ever had to vote on fining themselves, or an organization that one or more of the members of the commission have a vested interest in?

      1. You do know the former head is in deep shit right now over some funny business? Seems the PUC fined Cal Edison a bunch of money for failure to disclose some shady backroom deals they were making and apparently some people got aggravated that the shady backroom deals in question – were with the PUC. That’s right – the PUC fined Edison for failure to disclose to the PUC that they were having secret meetings with the PUC.

        Of course, we all know who controls the PUC in every damn state, anyway. But you mention “regulatory capture” to most people and they have no idea what you’re talking about. And just try to get them to understand that if there’s a regulated monopoly, it ain’t regulated, it’s a monopoly. What the hell’s the state gonna do, threaten to have people buy electricity from some other company?

        1. In Montana, they allowed multiple power companies in order to prevent monopoly. At the same time, the power companies weren’t permitted to overlap in service areas, because of the ugly infrastructure thing, I forget what it’s called, that bullshit statist “?conomists” like to invoque in defense of franchisement. So you could chuse to contract with a different power company, if you were willing to move. And, despite all the crap about the state needing to underwrite the expense of the infrastructure, which one hears so often, there, where they were actually having to build new infrastructure to service new developments, the property owner was required to pay the cost of running the new line from wherever there was an existing trunk. And, astonishingly, the fucking lines got laid in. Similarly, most roads were privately built and maintained by the communities that lived on them. The people that make the statist arguments, it seems, never actually lived in an area where new infrastructure had to be built, and somehow assume it won’t happen if the government doesn’t do it.

          1. On the other hand, bridges were sort of uncommon, either built by a single property owner on his own land or where there was no other fucking way to cross the water. Where the road was community owned and maintained, fords were a lot more common. The way people live now, I doubt anyone could stomach using a ford. Just like they can’t stand not going shopping once a week, not having television or a single-party phone line, or not having access to facebook at will. They talk about the poverty in USA. Doesn’t anybody remember being alive thirty years ago? When there were large areas that not only had no internet, cable TV, or cell phones, but in which telephones were a sort of a luxury, and most of them party lines, when you didn’t drive anywhere you could walk because fuel was too costly, when false teeth was something only rich people could afford? The standard of living for poor folk has raised so fucking high I can’t even wrap my mind around it, but they still complain about poverty and the widening gap betweenst the wealthy and the impoverished, and even, bloody fucking hell, people going hungry. Also, people rarely went to the doctor, and as a result physicians did what they could to actually make their service worth paying for.

            1. You must be an old geezer or something else just as icky .


              Party lines sound really cool though. Is that where you just pick up your phone and they tell you where the coolest partys are going on like right then ? Like really, that would be so coooool that I would like vote for that.

              I’m surprised like that Bernie hasn’t already called for that because that would actually like help people and stuff.

              1. seriously, you picked up the phone to see if your neighbor was already talking. If you talked too long and the neighbor wanted to make a call, they might get rude around the third time they picked up to hear you still yakking.

            2. Ha! Party lines, funny. That makes me remember going to visit my cousins in rural Ireland in the 80’s and they still had an outhouse. No indoor plumbing save a big kitchen sink. Taking a crap by walking out in the freezing dark rain of an Irish winter (or summer) to go the the shack. And these people didn’t consider themselves poor. That does not exist in that way these days.

  3. “In July, the Commission fined Uber $7.3 million for failing to comply with reporting requirements that ensure drivers don’t discriminate against passengers when giving out rides.”

    The Commission ruled that Uber had insufficiently paid off the right people, and they’re gonna keep throwing a tantrum until Uber sees the light and ponies up.

    Microsoft had to shell out a lot more than that to keep the feds off their case–and Gates had to buy himself a news network to keep the pollies in line, too.

    A couple of donations to the right people at the right time, and all the pain goes away. Hillary Clinton’s been cleaning up with insurance donations to her foundation just on the chance that she might be President–even while she was the sitting Secretary of State. Now there’s a politician that knows how things are done.

    Does Uber need somebody to forward them her number. She’s out on the campaign trail accepting cash from all comers. Get on it, Uber. . . . and the pain goes away.

    1. Microsoft had to shell out a lot more than that to keep the feds off their case–and Gates had to buy himself a news network to keep the pollies in line, too.

      And all the pundit-clowns wondered why Bezos bought WaPo; he bought the pundits themselves via that institution, for pennies per influence-dollar.

      1. But it’s evil when corporations try to defend themselves through the news media. The only good media is the kind run by deranged leftist paranoiacs like Amy Goodman.

    2. Thanks to, in Cali, the Dems and in general both parties, Mega Cap companies now prosper more than large Caps or the truly struggling Small Caps. They can easily pay large fines and manage the paperwork with already large legal departments. Thus the rich, comfortable legislature and top level civil servant class can mingle and get -gosh, not bribes-gifts from the rich they “control” and serve. Watch Rand fail in his Repub costume as he tries to maintain libertarianism while he swims with the other comfy fish.
      Come back, Rand (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtoCw2iOTSc)!

  4. No, this is the proggies’ long game. They will grudgingly allow new business models to ostensibly flourish, then try to kill or coopt them on the back end with fines and mis-applied regulations. Or new regulations; they like those.

    1. They will grudgingly allow new business models to ostensibly flourish, then try to threaten them into obedience into serving the progressive cause.

  5. But Uber says it will pay the fine, which could be little issue given it was valued at $62.5 billion after its most recent investment round.

    Didn’t Fortune magazine used to be a business mag, the sort of place that wouldn’t hire people who would write something like this? What the hell does Uber’s market valuation have to do with whether or not their cash flow can take a whack – or whether or not the financial pain is what the real issue is?

    1. Fortune assumes baksheesh is cost of doing business being the new normal stateside, I’d guess.

  6. Wait! Wait! Wait!!!

    How did Uber become a ‘Public Utility'”

    1. Silly rabbit, the road to de facto nationalization has to start somewhere.

  7. ”Welcome to the labyrinth, kid – only there ain’t no puppets or bisexual rock stars down here.”

    1. “Certainly not the magic kind with puppets and macho rock stars.”

      1. “That won’t change the way mustard tastes.”

        1. “That doesn’t make sense! You don’t order ketchup, it’s a condiment!”

    2. Paging SF, SF, could you please post more Bowie-themed squickfic to the Uber page.

  8. Too funny; in a sad way. Uber just has to take its lumps and see it through. They’ll be laughing in the end.

    OT: Celine Dion’s husband died. It’s big news here. I bring it up because my father once told us the story where he bought him a sandwich once at a club in the 60s. He felt bad for him. Next thing he knows he’s a billionaire with Celine.

    1. Excuse the extra ‘once’. I blame the gin.

      1. That extra once seems perfectly cromulent to me.

        1. +1 Lisa.

    2. By taking its lumps and see it through, you mean become a licensed, regulated and medallion’d cab industry with Union membership?

      1. I’m hoping it won’t unfold that way.

        1. Progressives won’t stand for any kind of business model they can’t control and manipulate to serve their interests.

          After all their entire philosophy is rooted around the concept of controlling the market. It is just assumed that it will be controlled to serve the “correct” causes, which are of course theirs. It’s not even contradictory.

          What to us is “corruption” is to them “making the market serve ‘the people'” (“the people being a euphemism for “our side”).

    3. Too funny; in a sad way. Uber just has to take its lumps and see it through. They’ll be laughing in the end.”

      yes and no Rufus.

      Uber and it’s investors are in a unique position. One perhaps that I have never noticed before, maybe others have, I don’t know.

      Uber is an inovative, up and coming company who’s value is ever increasing yet who actual profits have yet to exist because of growth and expansion.

      okay, nothing new there since the dawning of the age of the internet.

      Yet Uber is different because it’s demise is already written in the cards to some extent. it cannot possibly continue to exist long term because of the same function that made it what it is.


      The driverless car is ound to change uber’s business model compeletely. Uber may soon have to buy it’s own fleet. Or it may rent driverless cars from owners by the hour or mile.

      Either way Uber is bound to make fundamental changes in the near future to the point it will not be the same company at it’s roots that it is today.


      1. Not sure what you’re specifically getting at, but Uber is COUNTING on driverless cars. Right now they are just developing expertise at just-in-time dispatching while building a name as a provider of hassle free personal transportation. Once they no longer have to pay drivers is when the profits will really pour in.

  9. Most cars, by design, can’t serve extremely disabled people. Most people are not capable of carrying an extremely disabled person into or out of a car. I don’t really see how an Uber driver in a Prius can “discriminate” against a customer his car physically cannot (and he probably should not try to) serve.

    If an Uber driver drives off after seeing his customer has crutches… he fully deserves the scathing 1-star review he’s going to get.

    1. “Most cars, by design, can’t serve extremely disabled people. Most people are not capable of carrying an extremely disabled person into or out of a car. I don’t really see how an Uber driver in a Prius can “discriminate” against a customer his car physically cannot (and he probably should not try to) serve.”

      I’ve had circumstances dealing with bureaucrats where what was required was impossible, but it took a while to change their minds anyhow; ‘it is thus written’.

      1. maktub

  10. My only bad experiences with uber have been at the hands of taxi drivers.

  11. It’s hard for me to believe anyone is more brutal towards the lame and the halt than are the regular carriage services.

  12. Do you think the progs and prog journalists would go for this proposal?

    They want to make uber drivers employees with benefits (no contractors). Fine with me. Let’s then require free lance journalists to also be employees of company they are writing for.

    1. Don’t forget photographers.

  13. Central committee must be bribed.

  14. Every tax, every law, every regulation is a gun pointed at the peasants.

    The goal is not to prevent crime, but to create criminals that can then be shot with impunity.

  15. This is really illustrative of how easy it is for entrenched interests to manipulate the law to punish their economic competitors. Does anyone doubt that at least some of the motivation behind this is due to the influence of local taxi cartels? Does anyone seriously think that the commissioners are pure-of-heart civil servants whose only concern is the plight of the disabled? This is obviously being used as one more weapon wielded out of generalized animosity against Uber, because it is upsetting the apple-cart economically.

    I am reminded of the movie Leviathan, filmed in present-day Russia, in which a local landowner has to deal with an uphill battle against a court system that is bought and paid for by the local oligarch who wants to eminent domain his land. Why we go around pretending that what is going on here is something other than simple corruption, same as in Russia, I don’t know. Our network of regulations simply gives the commissioners a veneer of morality to hide their corrupt activities behind.

    Can’t kill Uber under the law? Smack them with fines under the ADA. Dig up some regulation or other to hit them with for not playing ball.

    A wonderful case in point for how easily abusable the regulatory state is.

  16. The state knows it can extort, and rob as it pleases. These politicians hide behind the police, and the national guard if necessary. Not one of them could, by themselves, go around extorting folks. They would get the shit kicked out of them, and might not make it home.

    Gov’t is a fiction, propped up by violence. Sadly there are blind followers, that would gladly give up the liberty, and property of others. They only realize how violent their creation is, when it’s too late.

  17. This is just stupid. Uber contracts with drivers who use their own vehicles. ADA does not require individuals to make their vehicles accessible.

  18. http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016…..tcmp=hpbt4

    Posted this on the other Uber thread too..unbelievable!!

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