Regulating Mobile App-Based Ride Sharing Companies - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Jeff Michael

Regulating Mobile App-Based Ride Sharing Companies

Posted: Updated:

You may not be able to stop progress, but you can regulate it.

Today the California Public Utilities Commission decided to regulate the mobile-app based ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft, making them conform with 20-plus rules.

Here are a few. Now the companies have to buy new state licenses.

  • Conduct criminal back-ground checks on all drivers.
  • Carry one million dollars worth of insurance
  • Start a driver training program
  • And not allow people to hail them from a street corner

The California Public Utilities Commission says it's doing this to protect the safety of customers.  And while that sounds good, is that really what's going on here? We haven't been able to find any major accidents, injuries or issues involving these innovative companies and their customers. The fact is, taxi companies, unions, limo services have been complaining for more than an year now because Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and others have been taking customers from them right and left--an old fashioned business plan getting its rear, bumper kicked by technology.

The cab and limo companies could have worked to catch up, but they complained and lobbied instead.

How are the app-based ride share businesses responding? You might be surprised to hear, they're fine with it. Lots of reasons why, but big surprise Lyft and the others already had higher standards than the state imposed anyway.

Some have asked, when will California stop applying a 20th century mentality to 21st century innovation? Google just invested $258 million in Uber. Word is that they will work on using Google's driverless cars as a robo-towncar service.

Who is the California Public Utilities Commission  going to license, train and require a background check on then?

Tell us what you think in the comments below or on Twitter @myfoxla.

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