After citing Lyft and Uber with $20,000 fines, regulators are re-evaluating California’s laws regarding charter-party carriers. This decision comes after New York City and Washington D.C. moved to legalize e-hailing services.
“The Commission has a responsibility for determining whether and how public safety might be affected by these new businesses. The purpose of this Rulemaking is not to stifle innovation and the provision of new services that consumers want, but rather to assess public safety risks, and to ensure that the safety of the public is not compromised in the operation of these new business models.”
While regulators are mostly concerned with public safety, Lyft and Uber creates are public forum on poor services and subsequent backlash is much more visible in today’s mobile commerce. current taxi and charter systems do not allow for public feedback, thus making Lyft and Uber’s technology a lot more confidant in the public’s eye.
Companies such as Lyft are based in San Francisco, a city whose economy is largely tech-driven. San Franciscans suffer especially on rainy days and Saturday evenings when every cab is full of riders. Removing such restriction would allow businesses like Lyft, Uber, and SideCar to develop alternative transit in a city that is sparse in parking spaces and low in taxis.