To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Friday, September 26, 2014

Ride-sharing companies targeted by authorities in L.A., S.F.


By Ryan Parker, September 25, 2014

Uber protest
Uber drivers, supporters protest at Uber offices in Santa Monica. The group reached out to the Teamsters Local 986 to help form an association for app-based drivers, including those who utilize the Uber, Lyft and Sidecar technology platforms.

Ride-sharing companies have been targeted in Los Angeles and San Francisco by authorities for conducting businesses improperly, even dangerously, San Francisco Dist. Atty. George Gascón confirmed to The Times late Thursday.

Although Gascón would not specify which companies were under investigation, he did say that it is more than one and that authorities had been working the case for the past few months.

“We support new economy and technology, but we have an obligation to make sure the public is protected,” Gascón said.

According to Bloomberg News, the ride-share companies under investigation are Lyft Inc., Uber Technologies Inc. and Sidecar Technologies Inc.

Gascón sent letters to all three companies, Bloomberg reported.

A “conversation” between authorities and the companies is going to occur within the next few days, Gascón said. Depending on the outcome of the talks, legal action may take place, he said.

“We want to make sure their behavior is corrected quickly,” Gascón said.

According to a letter sent from Gascón's office to Sunil Paul, chief executive of Sidecar, the company is accused of misleading customers about how thoroughly criminal background and driving record checks are conducted, and must remove all claims related to this matter on the company app and website.

Also, the company is accused of violating the law by offering the "shared ride" option, which allows strangers to split a single fare in order for the car to use the HOV lane, according to the letter. Sidecar was ordered to halt offering the option.

Ride-share companies offer quick access to transportation through smartphone apps. There have been criminal complaints about driver misconduct.

Gascón declined to comment further while the investigation is ongoing.