In Depth: Ride-sharing drivers pretending to be taxis in violation of state law, getting huge fines

by e and Stanley Roberts : kron – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — KRON’s Stanley Roberts goes in-depth about the dangers of jumping into a rideshare vehicle you did not call for.

A KRON investigation reveals rogue Uber and Lyft drivers picking up passengers and cutting out the taxi cab.

KRON’s Stanley Roberts was there for a San Francisco crackdown and explains why you need to think twice before hailing a ride.

Only a taxi driver can be a taxi driver, and while that may sound strange, there is a problem where other people are pretending to be taxi drivers.

So, San Franciso police and the SFMTA conduct regular enforcement stings looking for rogue drivers. Basically, they put two decoys out on the street to hail a ride.

If you are not a taxi, you are not allowed to pick up passengers. However, app-based drivers often do, despite knowing it’s a big no-no.

Stanley rode with plain-clothed officers from the San Francisco Police Department on a crackdown funded entirely by the SFMTA to catch app-based drivers behaving badly.

A ticket from the police is one thing, but an administrative ticket from SFMTA can cost as high as $5,000… (more)

CPUC delays vote on ride-hail regulations until next month

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez : sfexaminer – excerpt

State regulators announced late Wednesday they will delay a controversial vote on sweeping new regulations for ride-hail companies like Uber and Lyft.

The California Public Utilities Commission was poised to approve a major overhaul of its regulations for ride-hail companies statewide that would impact thousands of such vehicles on San Francisco’s streets. The vote, scheduled for Thursday morning, was delayed to April 7 amid disagreements over the regulations, including whether such companies can use rental cars to offer rides.

Such contentious issues include whether Lyft drivers can lease vehicles purely for ride-hail use, if Uber drivers should be fingerprinted for criminal checks, and whether unaccompanied children can legally travel in ride-hails.

New high-stakes financial deals, like a partnership for Lyft drivers to lease vehicles from General Motors, Inc. that was announced this week, added fuel to missives between the legal teams of the multibillion ride-hail dollar companies, their critics and the CPUC.

Now Uber, Lyft and others will have more time to hash out the legal ramifications.

The CPUC still plans to discuss the Phase II regulations Thursday but will not vote on them… (more)