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 na├»ve 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.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fabulous Turnout for Supervisor's Hearing on TNC's

In addition to Director of Taxi Services Christiane Hayashi and Attorney Christopher B. Dolan, (representing the family of Sophia Liu who was killed by an Uber x driver on New Years Eve) around 50 people spoke against the current weakness of the rules regulating TNC's.

But it wasn't just the numbers. It was the effectiveness of the speakers coupled with the open minded attitude of the members of the Supervisor's Neighborhood Services & Safety Committee that left me feeling upbeat.

Supervisor's Eric Mar (photo - who called the meeting), David  Campos and Norman Yee took in the hearing with Supervisor John Avalos joining them later.  The Supervisors exhibited open minds, asked good questions and showed a willingness to learn. This was a refreshing contrast for those of us who took part in the CPUC Hearings on Ridesharing last year where most questions clearly had been decided before we walked into the room.

Many people think that the Supervisors have little or no power to effect the CPUC ruling but that was not the impression that I got from the hearing.

Have to driver tonight. Details next post.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Supervisor's Service & Safety Committee Meeting on Unregulated Taxi Services: This Thursday at 10 am

Supervisor Eric Mar will be holding a special hearing of the Neighborhood Services & Safety Committee to discuss the concerns that have arisen over these unregulated taxi services such as Lyft, Sidecar and UberX.  The hearing will be held this Thursday, March 6 at 10am at City Hall in Room 250.

Show up. Lyft, Sidecar and Uber surely will.