Thursday, January 31, 2013

CPUC Lets Lyft Run Wild

The California Public Utilities Commission made a back door agreement with Lyft to suspend the CPUC's cease and desist order along with a $20,000 citation. Sidecar's reprieve from a similar order and fine can't be too far behind.

The action took place the day after the CPUC accepted comments on Rulemaking regulations for ridesharing and other online enabled transportation services. Included in these comments, were papers by me and, more importantly, the Personal Insurance Federation of California demonstrating that personal liability insurance is not adequate for the kind of services that Lyft and Sidecar provide. Their vehicles need commercial insurance and, in order to put illegal cars out more rapidly, both Lyft and Sidecar tell their drivers that they do not need commercial insurance. In other words, their vehicles are not insured at all.

It's hard to know what the CPUC is thinking. A CPUC spokesman has been quoted as saying that the main issue of their Rulemanking is public safety. Yet Lyft and Sidecar already have over 700 uninsured taxis on the streets. These ridesharing companies are cranking out new drivers like Henry Ford used to roll out Model T's. By the time the CPUC makes a decision Lyft and Sidecar likely will have more illegal, uninsured cabs in San Francisco than the 1,700 legal taxicabs that are backed with real $1,000,000 insurance policies.

A sure recipe for disaster.


  1. That's it. I'm selling the medallion I purchased just 2 years ago for $250,000. I hope the SFMTA can match me with a buyer or I'm screwed.

  2. Hi Ed
    It looks UBER got the all clear today too, It looks like us cabbies are gonna have to work twice as hard for twice as less. What a shame.

  3. love the photo, are those old Yellow cabs on the assembly line?