SAN FRANCISCO — The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) participated in seven multi-agency strike force operations on passenger carriers (limousines, shuttles, tour buses) during the third quarter of 2012. These operations were conducted to ensure that companies are properly licensed with the CPUC. The operations were conducted at the following locations:
1) San Ysidro Border – July 9, 2012: The CPUC, along with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), conducted a surprise carrier inspection on two locations near the San Diego border. About 50 shuttle vans and buses were observed and pulled over for the inspection. The CPUC issued three misdemeanor warnings (Workers’ Compensation issues and revoked permit) and four observation reports (equipment not filed with the CPUC and use of a subcarrier).
2) Disneyland – July 13, 2012: CPUC staff and the CHP conducted a surprise inspection in the Disneyland parking lot. About 18 charter-party buses were pulled over for inspection. The CPUC issued three misdemeanor warnings (expired, suspended, and revoked permit) and three observation reports (equipment not filed with the CPUC). One charter-party bus that dropped off small children at the Disneyland parking lot was impounded by the CHP for having a revoked permit.
3) San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – July 26 2012: The CPUC, the CHP, the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), SFO Airport Police, and SFO Landside Operations conducted a surprise passenger carrier inspection. The CPUC interviewed 65 vehicle operators and issued 33 Notices to Correct Violations (suspended fees, vehicles not filed with the CPUC, waybills, vehicle ID, and possible Workers’ Compensation violations). Subsequently, the CPUC issued pending suspension notices to four carriers for engaging employee-drivers without procuring evidence of Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage. The DIR issued two citations for failure to have Workers’ Compensation insurance, and the SFO Airport Police issued 12 citations (no proof of insurance, no registration card, suspended TCP, and license plate light out). The CHP inspected nine regulated vehicles, issued two citations (tires, equipment, and lights), and placed two vehicles out of service for equipment and tire problems.
4) Long Beach Airport – July 27, 2012: The CPUC participated in an inspection of regulated passenger carriers operating at Long Beach Airport. The CPUC wrote 18 observation reports, mainly for violations of General Order 157-D, Section 3.01 (failure to possess a waybill or valid waybill and equipment not on file with the CPUC). The Long Beach Police issued seven citations for the same violations and also issued three citations for failure to have an airport permit prior to conducting ground transportation operations.
5) Modesto X-Fest – Aug. 4, 2012: The CPUC joined the Modesto Police Department in patrolling the perimeter of Modesto’s X-Fest from 4 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. The mission of the operation was to locate, inspect, and take enforcement action on party buses, buses, and limousines that were not operating with a valid CPUC permit and in compliance with state and local laws. Seventeen contacts/stops were conducted. Two arrests were made for operating without charter-party authority. Citations were issued for 30 various California Vehicle Code violations, and four buses were taken out of service due to safety issues.
6) Golden Gate Park and Fisherman’s Wharf – Aug. 25, 2012: The CPUC and the CHP conducted two surprise inspections on the same day - one at Golden Gate Park and another at Fisherman’s Wharf. About 30 buses were pulled over for the inspections. The CPUC interviewed 28 bus operators and issued four Notices to Correct Violations (equipment not on file with the CPUC, and missing vehicle ID). The CHP inspected 30 regulated vehicles and 35 violations were noted; one driver was taken out of service for a driver’s license violation, and three vehicles were placed out of service for violations (no registration, equipment, and brakes).
7) San Diego State University (SDSU) – Sept. 28, 2012: The CPUC participated in a surprise inspection hosted by the SDSU Police Department. Other law enforcement that participated in the operation included the CHP, San Diego Police Department, the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), and several other local enforcement agencies. About 16 party buses/shuttle vans were stopped and inspected. The CPUC issued four observation reports for violations such as TCP name and number not shown on bumpers and on the side of vehicles. The CHP placed four carriers out of service for safety violations.
For more information on the CPUC: www.cpuc.ca.gov.