A recent analysis points to the persistent problem of illegal, or gypsy, operators stealing business at California airports and the only partial success of authorities to stop the activity.
SAN FRANCISCO — Some limousine companies at San Francisco International aren't properly licensed by state regulators to operate at the airport, according to TRANSPORTATION REVIEWS, a Web site that follows the ground-transportation industry.
Of the 73 limousine service companies listed on the airport's website as of May 9, nine have an inactive permit status of either Denied, Expired, Pending, Revoked or Suspended by the California Public Utilities Commission, according to its analysis.
Companies with an inactive permit status are not authorized to provide limousine service in California, says Todd Nemet, president of Transportation Reviews. "If you hire one of these companies, they may not have insurance and you may not be covered. Chauffeurs may not be properly licensed or have had their background checked properly," he says.
San Francisco International Airport didn't reply to a request for comment.
On its web site, the airport advises travelers to "ignore offers of ground transportation from solicitors inside the terminal building. While these solicitors may look and sound official, they are not authorized to solicit passengers and are breaking the law."
But it doesn't offer any tips on how to verify whether a company has a license, Nemet says.
Nearly a third of the limousine companies displayed on the airport's web site also are listed under a name that is not registered with CPUC, he says. "You want to use names that people can track back. The public has a problem if they want to complain about a company or check its legal status," Nemet says.
Source: USA Today