Thursday, June 26, 2014

State Senate Committee on Insurance Votes for $750,000 Partial Coverage for TNCs

The bill, AB2293, that the committee passed on for a later vote on the Senate floor was disliked by almost everybody.

Uber and Lyft lawyers spoke against it because they want to limit coverage to only the time when their drivers are logged in with a passenger. They do NOT want to cover their drivers while they are logged in but don't have a customer. This makes economic sense. In that way the TNC's would save money on insurance premiums and wouldn't have their rates raised the next time one of their drivers kills a pedestrian while looking for a fare.

Taxi people spoke against the bill for several reasons:
  • It drops coverage from $1,000,000 to $750,000.
  • TNCs would not be covered if they pick up off the street or carry private customers.
  • As to whether or not a driver was logged in when an accident occurred could be manipulated by either the driver or TNC companies like Uber & Lyft.
  • Full-time commercial insurance is the only safe option for the public.
  • The bill would codify "TNC" as a separate form of transportation than what already exists. It would create a new category of "charter party carriers" and pre-empt the court challenge of the CPUC's decision by the Taxi Paratransit Association of California (TPAC), which is already in the California court of Appeals.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Interim Director of Taxis and Accessible Services Appointed

From the new Interim Director of Taxis and Accessible Services. (Don't have a photo of her. It's Ed Reiskin at right.)

Dear PCC Members and Friends,

I am writing to let you know that my role at the SFMTA has expanded - I have been appointed Interim Director of Taxis and Accessible Services. This is a very exciting opportunity to lead a dynamic division at this critical time, and I am honored to have been selected.  It has also been an honor to have worked with the PCC for the past 15 years. Although my role has changed, I am not going away, and I will still work on Paratransit issues, albeit in a different capacity. I have enjoyed working with you all during my tenure as Paratransit Manager and I look forward to working with you in my new role as well.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Finally – Regulators Start Regulating & Fining Uber, Lyft et al

Most cab drivers are aware that SFO is starting to crack down on Uber, Lyft et al but you may not know the details or realize that this is happening in other parts of the county. To help correct this oversight, I'm sharing some links on the subject – a few of which overlap but nonetheless help fill in the picture.

To me the two most hopeful signs are the fact that the tncs have turned the person most responsible for  legalizing Uber & Lyft, CPUC President Michael R. Peevey, against them; and that San Francisco Mayor Ed (Lyft Day) Lee refuses to come to their aid despite hefty campaign contributions from Uber-friendly Libertarians like Ron Conway. A sign that the world is turning against the worms?

Enjoy the links.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Taxi Myopia Blues

I offer this photo as a balm to those who've taken umbrage at my comparing San Francisco taxicab company owners to dinosaurs. I think this analogy is more accurate. Besides, it also applies to many cab drivers (far too many) as well.

Let start with the owners.

One could write a fat, non-fiction novel on the short-sightedness and petty greed of the people running S.F. cab companies – especially Yellow and Luxor. But for this article, I'll restrict myself to their opposition to an universal app or Open Taxi Access (OTA).

When John Wolpert first introduced Cabulous in 2010, it should have been obvious to anyone with an entact frontal lobe that, if adapted throughout the taxicab fleet, the app had the potential to both drastically improve service to the neighborhoods and create business for the drivers.