BACKLASH! TNCs Trigger Pushback, Protests, Fines. . Jail?

Posted on June 13, 2014

Transportation Network Companies are getting some serious blowback across American and Europe as regulatory disparities spur calls for reform and widespread protest. The number one message: Play fair or don't play at all.

Major headlines of the week:

Insurance Chief Backs Stiffer TNC Rules: California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones threw his weight Thursday behind the state Public Utility Commission's proposal to increase insurance requirements for Transportation Network Company services like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar that use smartphone apps to connect passengers to people driving for hire in their own vehicles. San Francisco Business Times article here

CA Regulators Warn TNCs To Get Out Of Airports: California regulators are threatening to revoke permits for on-demand ride companies UberX, Lyft, Sidecar, Summon and Wingz unless they stop giving rides to and from airports within two weeks. article here

Los Angeles Council Members Seek Tighter TNC Rules: Three members of the Los Angeles City Council called Tuesday for state lawmakers to back tighter state regulation of ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and Uber, arguing that existing rules leave passengers using the firms' smartphone apps vulnerable and put traditional taxicabs at an unfair disadvantage. Los Angeles Times article here

ON CAMERA INVESTIGATION: TNCs Caught Operating Illegally: The NBC Investigative Unit went undercover and found Uber, Luft and Sidecar drivers ignoring airport transportation rules. The Investigative Unit even found drivers without valid licenses, insurance and driving unregistered cars. Elyce Kirchner reports in a video that aired on June 2, 2014. NBC Bay Area video report here

Pennsylvania Authorities Levy First Ever Fines On Uber, Lyft: Regulators in Pennsylvania have put the brakes on the popular ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft, slapping them with potential fines after a sting operation discovered improperly licensed vehicles. Lyft faces a proposed fine of $130,000 and Uber faces a fine of $95,000 levied by the Pennsylvania Utility Commission (PUC). article here

Uber Ticks Off Orlando Limo, Taxi Operators: Frustration is growing among cab and limo drivers in Orlando over the June 4 arrival of San Francisco-based Uber's car service in the area. One industry representative, Gregg Moulton, said his organization is hoping that city officials take action to regulate Uber, which is operating without permits. Orlando Sentinel article here

Taxi Leaders Want Miami-Dade Authorities To Jail TNC Drivers: How incensed are taxicab operators at rogue car services Lyft and UberX? Running sting operations, fining drivers and taking their cars away — all of which the county has been doing — is just not harsh enough, one industry representative told Miami-Dade commissioners Wednesday. Miami Herald article here

Hey You Assholes! Travis Kalanick Tells Off Taxi Industry: What’s ahead on Uber’s path? Raising unprecedented amounts of money to outspend competitors, hiring key political PR experts to throw dirt on the taxi industry, and eventually ditching drivers to use self-driving cars. article here

WARNING UBER: Copy Of CPUC Letter To Kalanick

Uber Inflames Europe: Traffic snarled this week in cities from London to Madrid and Berlin to Paris as strikes and gatherings by more than 30,000 taxi and limo drivers blocked tourist centers and shopping districts. They are asking regulators to apply tougher rules on San Francisco-based Uber, whose software allows customers to order a ride from drivers who don’t need licenses that can cost 200,000 euros ($270,000) apiece. Bloomberg/The Local German news articles here

-- Compiled By LCT editor Martin Romjue

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