Tuesday, April 15, 2014

"Just Say No" – Chris Hayashi's Letter to the Seattle City Council on TNCs

I'm posting Director Hayashi's letter for two reasons:

1. It's one of the best summaries of the problem that I've seen.

2. It was instrumental in Seattle's decision to limit the numbers of TNCs. Before Hayashi sent her letter the Seattle Council was split on the vote. After they read it, they voted unanimously to regulate.

A third reason is that the Director hasn't gotten her props for helping keep the bogus taxis out of numerous cities including Austen, San Antonio and Philadelphia – where the TNC's get towed if they show up.

March 12, 2014
Dear Seattle City Council Members:

I am writing this letter in the hopes of helping to inform your upcoming decision about appropriate regulation of companies that provide smartphone access to individuals using personal vehicles to provide for-hire transportation to the public.  Please notice that I did not call it “ridesharing.”  That is a false characterization of this type of for-hire vehicle service that was adopted in the hope that by characterizing these services as “carpools” they would not be required to carry commercial insurance under California law.  What we now call Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) in California asserted that position before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), but the CPUC rejected it, finding that the TNCs are commercial, for-hire vehicles that are operating for profit.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Why Taxi Drivers Are Mad At Lyft, Sidecar & Uber X by John Han

Photographs by Douglas O'Connor   Video of CPUC hearings by Ed Healy
                            Produced & Created by John Han

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Protest Against the CPUC Wednesday Noon – Whenever

Little has changed in the mentality of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) since the July 30 taxi protests last year.

The CPUC continues to allow Uber, Lyft & Sidecar to hide their inadequate insurance policies from the public. The CPUC still allows the TNCs to regulate themselves which is the same as not regulating them at all. The CPUC still refuses to let the City of San Francisco regulate them. The CPUC still allows them to congest and pollute the City at will.

On the other hand, Taxi Paratransit Association of California (TPAC) applied for a rehearing of the CPUC decision which will be heard by the California Public Utilities Commission this Thursday during closed session.

Wednesday's protest will be to help the CPUC see the errors of its previous decision.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jamming the Streets with Lyft, Sidecar, Uber & the Illegals

Taxi Services investigator Eric Richholt invited me to ride with him and his partner Andres Martinez so I could photo & videograph the gridlock caused by a couple of thousand unregulated, fake cabs on the Friday and Saturday nights.

"You wouldn't believe it," he said. "People should see this."

"Is it worse than last time we went out?" I asked.

"Oh, yeah."

Monday, March 24, 2014

Seattle Council Unanimously Votes to Regulate & Limit TNC's

-- PASSED BY FULL COUNCIL March 17, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Uber Insurance Policy

A copy of the Uber insurance policy – the one that Trevor Kalanick (CEO of Uber) is using to try and deny coverage to the family of Sophia Liu – has been sent around by an anonymous source.

I haven't had a chance to read it yet but Mr. Anon writes,

There are a lot of major problems with this policy and you will see them as you read it.

1) The whole UBER thing is a daisy chain of foreign corporations. UBER is incorporated in the Netherlands, James River Insurance in Bermuda and Raiser Corporation in Switzerland.

You aren't really naïve enough to think that the credit card money UBER collects goes to a US Bank are you? Remember the lyrics to the song:

"All the gold in California is in a bank in Beverly Hills in somebody else's name"
2) You don't need to be an insurance expert to look at the policy and determine the following:
a. This policy is designed for one purpose only: To protect the lily-white butt of UBER CEO Travis Kalanick and his top investors.
b. There is a virtual cornucopia of exclusions, exemptions, what-ifs, Catch-22's, etc,
"Oh by the way, that's not covered, and oh, neither is that."
3) You can see why this policy would not pay the $500,000 medical bill for the mother of the little girl run over killed by UBER in San Francisco.
4) It also claims it would not pay if the UBER driver was "Negligent"? Why else would there have been a wreck?
5) Even the "New, improved" UBER insurance policy would not correct any of the above defects.

 6) Glaring omissions: Driver drug testing? FBI Fingerprinting? City permits? Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?, Vehicle inspections, Hours of Service, Mandatory Proof of Workers Comp, Towing, Rental vehicle while yours is  in the shop, Subrogation (Reimbursement for loss of use of the vehicle and the income it could have produced had it not been wrecked).
 The UBER policy is the longest policy in America with the fewest things actually covered. Unbelievable.
THIS WORTHLESS, PHONEY POLICY. So, why does UBER get away with it?

Mr. Anon adds,

Not surprisingly the Uber Insurance Policy (Which is really Raiser, not Uber) does not provide the insurance coverage advertised or even close. As you will see below the actual coverage is contingent and illusory and the amount of coverage is not actually $1,000,000. Once again, Uber is trying with some success to hoodwink the public and the press, and is just plain lying.

The one-year policy runs from December 21, 2013 to December 21, 2014.  This policy is issued by James River Insurance Company. It covers as named insureds Rasier LLC, Rasier-CA LLC and Rasier-DC LLC (hereinafter “Rasier”), all of which are affiliates of Uber Technologies and contracts with drivers but Raiser does not dispatch to those same drivers.  This policy covers autos that are en route to pick up passengers or that are transporting passengers.  It does not cover autos that are logged on to Uber’s system awaiting dispatches, which Uber last week claimed is the subject of a supplement to this policy.

As Uber has claimed, it does provide up to $1,000,000 in liability coverage for bodily injury or property damage to passengers or other third parties within the scope of the coverage.  However, that coverage is available only if Rasier is liable to the third party or caused the accident.  The coverage does not apply if the driver is negligent and the injured party fails to establish that Rasier is liable as well or caused the accident.  Thus, in most cases the policy does not provide any liability coverage to the drivers.  It also does not provide collision or medical payments to the drivers for damage to themselves or their personal cars.

A schedule attached to the policy names as “additional insureds” those persons “as required by written contract” (presumably the UberX drivers) and Uber Technologies. But the insurance afforded those additional insureds under this schedule covers only their liability for those accidents caused in whole or part by Rasier’s acts or omissions or those of third parties acting on Rasier’s behalf.  The schedule does NOT cover drivers from accidents caused by their own negligent acts or omissions.  Moreover, even this narrow coverage is constricted further by “limits of insurance” language in the schedule.  It limits the coverage to the lesser of the amount on the face of the policy ($1 million) or the amount required by the contract between Rasier and the drivers.  Rasier’s form contract (attached) only requires the drivers to carry the minimum amount required by state law.  That might be as low as what is required for personal auto policies, which varies by state but could be in the range of $20,000.
Contrast this Insurance Policy with the insurance that Uber is currently advertising that it has, which can be found at: 

The Phantom should have sent you a copy of the Uber policy with this post.