Tag Archives: Transportation Network Companies

New California Data On Ride Services Reveal Rise In Collisions And Incidents

by Bryan Goebel, The California Report

“If it’s normalized by miles driven, you’d expect the number of incidents to be somewhat stable over time,” [UCLA transportation expert Juan Matute told the CPUC]. “That would be indicative of TNCs being less safe as they scale up.” … In 2013, an Uber driver was charged with vehicular manslaughter for hitting and killing 6-year-old Sofia Liu as she and her family were walking in a crosswalk. … [Uber] was threatened in July with suspension and a $7 million fine by an administrative law judge for failing to meet all the [CPUC] reporting requirements. Read More ›

Uber Sued Over Alleged Rapes By Drivers

by Marisa Kendall, The Recorder, San Francisco

“Unfortunately, despite its self-proclaimed ‘commitment to safety,’ opening the Uber app and setting the pick-up location has proven to be the modern day equivalent of electronic hitchhiking,” the lawyers wrote. “Buyer beware—we all know how those horror movies end.” … The two assaults are part of a pattern of “similarly heinous, but avoidable attacks,” the Jane Does’ lawyers wrote. They claim more than 30 sexual assaults by Uber drivers against passengers have been reported in the media over the past two years.
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Uber Loses Bid To Force Arbitration On California Driver

by Joel Rosenblatt, Bloomberg

Uber logo

Uber is appealing the San Francisco federal court decision in a case that might force the startup to change its business model and erode its $50 billion valuation. … “I’m not going to fly in the face of a stark inconsistency in order to massage this into arbitrability,” [Judge Ernest Goldsmith] told lawyers during a hearing Monday. … “I can’t imagine that they’re going to continue with a contract like this,” Goldsmith said, referring to Uber. “It’s not a close case. It starts with the clearest contradictory language and just goes on and on and on.” Read More ›

Uber Unleashes Lobbyists In California To Reshape Driver Rules

by Alison Vekshin, Bloomberg

Uber has spent almost a million dollars since 2013 on lobbyists in California. … Lyft, also based in San Francisco, has spent $362,000 on lobbying the legislature since 2013. … Some lawmakers say Uber is skirting rules that apply to similar businesses. “In California, we allow them to operate for free while we require many other businesses to pay for permits, franchising fees and licenses,” said Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, the sole vote against Low’s measure in May. “It’s beyond ridiculous what they’re getting away with.” Read More ›

San Francisco District Attorney Says Uber Hires Killers, Rapists

by Vic Lee, ABC 7 News

Uber is facing serious allegations. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon says rapists, kidnappers, and killers are driving some people to their destinations. If the allegations against the company are true, it’s frightening to think about who you’re trusting behind the wheel with your life in their hands. Gascon and his counterpart in Los Angeles filed a civil complaint against Uber last December. That complaint said Uber was misleading passengers about its drivers’ backgrounds. This new document actually lists the criminal backgrounds of dozens of its drivers. Read More ›

Will Uber Drivers Get Class-Action Status For Employment Case?

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber exec toys with car and cash

The case’s outcome also looms over other on-demand companies because workers deemed employees have mandates on wages and benefits that contractors do not. If the drivers win class-action status and ultimately prevail, Uber would be faced with a sweeping overhaul of its relationship with drivers that would “radically change” the app and challenge Uber’s business model. Read More ›

Facing Regulatory Roadblocks, Uber Ramps Up Its Lobbying In California

by Chris Kirkham and Tracey Lien, Los Angeles Times

uber exec toys with car and cash

Uber now spends more on lobbyists in California than Wal-Mart, Bank of America or Wells Fargo … in the top 3% of companies and organizations. … So far in 2015, Uber has paid about $200,000 to lobbyists. That’s more than 10 times the amount spent by the limousine industry and nearly four times greater than the taxi industry’s trade group. … A PUC administrative law judge decided earlier this month that Uber should be fined $7.3 million and suspended from operating in California. Read More ›

Uber Should Be Suspended In California And Fined $7.3 Million, Judge Says

by Laura J. Nelson, Andrea Chang and Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times

Uber — plagued by problems with regulators, drivers and taxi unions around the world — took a big blow in its home state Wednesday when an administrative judge recommended that the ride-sharing giant be fined $7.3 million and be suspended from operating in California. In her decision, chief administrative law judge Karen V. Clopton of the California Public Utilities Commission contended that Uber has not complied with state laws designed to ensure that drivers are doling out rides fairly to all passengers. Read More ›

Uber Data Collection Changes Should Be Barred, Privacy Group Urges

by Natasha Singer and Mike Isaac, The New York Times

A leading privacy rights group wants the Federal Trade Commission to prohibit Uber from instituting changes to its privacy policy that the group says will allow the ride-hailing app to collect more detailed data about customers’ whereabouts and use their contact lists to send their friends promotional pitches. … Uber’s reputation is still recovering from public censure last year after allegations surfaced that company employees had mishandled trip data about individual consumers to track their locations, and inappropriately shared an internal tool — colloquially known as “God view” — that showed users taking trips in real time. Read More ›

Uber Is Facing A Potentially Huge Blow In California

by Ben Geier, Fortune

Uber logo

In a decision that has the potential to alter — and perhaps cripple — Uber’s business model, the California Labor Commission has ruled that drivers for the ride-hailing service are employees of the company rather than independent contractors. Right now, as Business Insider notes, Uber faces virtually no expenses for the more than one million drivers who give rides using the service. If the ruling holds, though, all of those people become employees of the company, and that exposes Uber to such costs as Social Security, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance. Read More ›

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