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Councilman Warns Unregulated Rideshare Cabs Pose ‘Danger To The Public’

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(Photo credit: Uber)

(Photo credit: Uber)

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textalerts180 Councilman Warns Unregulated Rideshare Cabs Pose Danger To The Public

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council was set Tuesday to consider a motion to appeal newly adopted state regulations for phone-app-enabled ridesharing services.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports so-called “bandit cabs” have sparked demonstrations and calls for legislative action from members of the local taxi industry.

Councilman Paul Koretz introduced the motion (PDF) on Oct. 11 instructing the City Attorney to submit the “necessary filings to preserve the city’s right to appeal” the California Public Utility Commission’s (PUC) decision in September to allow rideshare companies such as UberX, SideCar and Lyft to operate in California.

State law reserves a city’s right to regulate the taxicab industry, according to Koretz’s motion.

Koretz wants the Council to challenge the decision to keep regulation at the city level.

“I believe, at least, that there’s a danger to the public in having these unregulated companies,” said Koretz.

Opponents of the regulations have until Wednesday to submit their request to have the PUC reconsider the new rules. At least one local taxicab service, Yellow Cab, signaled plans to appeal the new rules.

The City Council was also expected to discuss who should regulate the companies, which allow riders to arrange their transportation often at a lower price than they would pay for a traditional taxi.

Under new regulations signed off by the state PUC, rideshare services are now classified as “transportation network companies”, and must get a license from the PUC, require criminal background checks of drivers, create a driver training program, adopt a “zero-tolerance” policy on drug and alcohol use, buy commercial liability insurance policy with a minimum $1 million coverage and do a 19-point car inspection.

However, state law is unclear on whether drivers for rideshare companies will be required to obtain commercial insurance coverage, which can cost between $5,000 and $7,000.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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