© 2024 KVPR | Valley Public Radio - White Ash Broadcasting, Inc. :: 89.3 Fresno / 89.1 Bakersfield
89.3 Fresno | 89.1 Bakersfield
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ride-Sharing Companies, Taxi Industry Battle In Sacramento

The California State Capitol Building in Sacramento (file photo)
Andrew Nixon
Capital Public Radio
The California State Capitol Building in Sacramento (file photo)

Ride-sharing companies and the taxi industry are locked in battles throughout California – on the streets, in the state Legislature, and in regulatory agencies. As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, neither side is happy with the status quo.

It’s been a bumpy road for ride-sharing companies this year. In January, the DMV said it would require Lyft and Uber drivers to obtain commercial vehicle licenses – then rescinded that regulation after a backlash. Last week, the Public Utilities Commission fined an Uber subsidiary more than 7 million dollars for not complying with passenger reporting requirements. And Democratic Senator Ben Hueso, whose family is in the taxi business, is putting the brakes on several bills backed by the ride-sharing companies. He plans to hold an informational hearing this fall.

Hueso: “It’s taken decades to really come up with a regulatory framework for transportation in local communities – decades. And overnight, these companies have penetrated the market in a way that has bypassed the ability to conform to all those rules and laws.”

Hueso says it’s not fair that taxis are regulated locally but ride-sharing companies face a single set of statewide regulations. The taxi industry wants a more level playing field. But John Doherty with the trade organization TechNet says statewide ride-sharing regulations make more sense.

Doherty: “We’re not anti-reasonable oversight and regulation. What we are anti is just trying to take an old system that doesn’t make sense anymore and just overlay it on top of the new services.”

Doherty says despite this year’s setbacks, ride-sharing companies are making progress on other fronts – especially in gaining access to airports.