More and more people needing rides these days are clicking smart phone apps to arrange them with local networks. Supporters say the networks will now have state endorsed vehicles and drivers.
“Now as part of the requirements, that’s something we’ve always done, we have criminal background checks with strict criteria,” says John Zimmer, co-founder of San Francisco-based Lyft. “We also have driving record checks with strict criteria as well as a million dollar liability policy to protect all drivers and passengers on the platform.”
But critics say traditional taxis are at a disadvantage because they’re legally required to provide transportation in underserved communities. Ride share networks aren’t.
“Taxis are required to provide service in every part of the city, not just the affluent parts,” says Paul Marron with the Taxi and Paratransit Association of California. “Taxi companies have mandates about the number of disabled taxi vehicles that they must have.”
The taxi industry will consider its legal options in the coming weeks.