Wednesday, June 07, 2017

In the Name of Safety and Fairness, Of Course

Uber's self-driving cars (CNBC photo) still
have a driver for safety purposes
Despite Uber's widely publicized missteps the ride-sharing company's valuation still is estimated to be well north of $50 billion.

IMHO, bad, even criminal, behavior by employees or drivers isn't the biggest impediment to Uber's potential. Uber and rival Lyft have more to worry about from city governments intent on regulating---and, of course, taxing---the upstart transportation companies. [bold added]
City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Monday subpoenaed Uber and Lyft to disgorge records on four years of driving practices, disability access and service in San Francisco. The companies have steadfastly declined to share data other than that they have about 45,000 drivers in the Bay Area.

“No one disputes the convenience of the ride-hailing industry, but that convenience evaporates when you’re stuck in traffic behind a double-parked Uber or Lyft, or when you can’t get a ride because the vehicle isn’t accessible to someone with a disability or because the algorithm disfavors the neighborhood where you live,” Herrera said in a statement.

The subpoenas seek information on “miles and hours logged by drivers, incentives that encourage drivers to ‘commute’ from as far away as Fresno or Los Angeles, driver guidance and training, accessible vehicle information, and the services provided to residents of every San Francisco neighborhood,” Herrera’s office said.

The companies already compile that information for their regulator, the California Public Utilities Commission.
Subpoena all their records because of double-parking and accessibility? In San Francisco I don't see a lot of traffic tickets being handed out to double-parked trucks, nor do most taxis appear to be wheelchair accessible, but maybe I just need to get out more.

Uber and Lyft, if you pay big $$$ and give up the names of your 45,000 drivers so that San Francisco can register and tax everyone who drives into the City even for a couple of minutes per year, you could avoid this hassle. Nice little business you have there, Uber and Lyft, it would be a shame if something happened to it.

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