SFO director initiates crackdown on unpermitted Uber drivers

|
(42)

San Francisco’s “sharing economy” may be on its way to getting “catalyzed” thanks to this week’s Share Conference, but ridesharing companies also are getting called out – by the director of San Francisco International Airport, for operating illegally.

In a May 9 letter to California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey, SFO Director John Martin requested assistance in enforcing new rules governing Internet-based companies such as Lyft, Uber, and SideCar.

Known in regulatory parlance as TNCs, or transportation network companies, these “ridesharing” businesses are mandated by a CPUC decision to acquire permits before picking up or dropping off airport passengers. The companies provide apps and online payment systems allowing drivers to earn cash driving people around.

In early April, SFO sent out permit application packets to Lyft, Uber, Sidecar, Summon (formerly known as InstaCab) and Wingz (formerly known as Tickengo). Included in the packets “was a letter reminding the TNCs that operating on the airport’s roadways without a permit violates” the state requirement, the letter notes.

But more than a month later, “none of these TNCs have applied for an airport permit,” Martin informed Peevey, “yet they continue to conduct commercial business on the airport’s roadways.”

From April 16 to May 5, police based at the airport apparently performed a TNC crackdown, issuing warnings to 110 drivers for unpermitted operation. By May 15, the number of drivers to receive warnings from law enforcement had climbed above 150, according to SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel.

“Several drivers did not have proof of insurance,” Martin wrote. “One did not have a driver’s license.” Of the 110 who were discovered to be operating illegally, 101 were driving for UberX.

“Eighty percent of the Uber-x drivers did not have trade dress [logos marking them as TNCs] on their vehicles,” as required under the CPUC ruling, Martin wrote. “One Uber-x driver reportedly asked to an officer, ‘why should I advertise for them?’ Four of the Uber-x drivers had no proof of insurance.”

“It’s not the drivers, per se,” Yakel said. “It’s up to the companies they are driving for to submit the permit. We want the TNCs to communicate to their drivers.” He noted that the permitting would begin as a pilot program.

The Bay Guardian phoned Uber for comment, and received this statement from spokesperson Lane Kasselman: "Although SFO’s proposed pilot program raises some concerns about rider and driver privacy, we look forward to working with airport leadership to resolve these issues and ensure that uberX driver partners are able to serve Bay Area residents wherever and whenever they need a ride."

The TNCs are edging into the market of taxicabs, limousines, and other ground transportation vehicles that have traditionally operated at the airport. While Yakel noted that SFO is “very open to new forms of ground transportation,” and interested in helping the companies to comply with state and airport permitting regulations, he characterized illegal TNC operation as a safety concern.

He also said the companies should be operating “on a level playing field” with existing transportation providers.

That means displaying an airport-issued decal in car windows, offering proof that the drivers are covered by TNC-provided insurance as long as they’re on airport property, and paying a trip fee of $3.75. “Every other form of transportation at SFO that’s authorized … is subject to the same standard,” Yakel said.

In his letter, Martin called on the CPUC to “engage in enforcement activities” and to issue a notice to Uber, Lyft, SideCar and the others to stop allowing rides to the airport until airport permits have been issued. He also asked that the CPUC require TNCs to post prominent notices on their websites, informing drivers and customers that there would be no more rides to the airport until further notice.

Airport administrators are scheduled to meet with the CPUC next month for further discussion.

Comments

picking me up rather than a freidn or family member?

Why not? Because share cars are exactly that - private individuals who are sharing their car as if I am a friend or family member.

I call him - he picks me up and takes me home - and I give him some gas money. Just like I would anyway.

This is dumb. The old school just doesnt get the sharing economy.

Posted by Guest on May. 15, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

Because I'll report them. Next time I go to the airport, I'll use their service and then report them to the authorities. I won't get in trouble, but they will.

Posted by Guest on May. 15, 2014 @ 5:48 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 4:51 am

...if they are making a profit.

The Lyft or Uber driver is not picking you up out of the goodness of their hearts any more than a taxi driver does.

When you say you throw the driver some gas money, you are actually paying to cover not only gas money, a cut that goes to Uber or Lyft, plus a nice bit of profit for the driver. Pretty much the same a s a cab driver, minus costs like taxes and insurance.

If you are interested in actual sharing, here at Carma (http://carmacarpool.com) we offer genuine ridesharing. That is we facilitate the sharing of trips that our users would be making anyway and actually sharing the cost. Or users do not make a profit.

Posted by Team Carma on May. 16, 2014 @ 1:17 am

I offer a friend $20 to take me to the airport because it would cost me twice that in a cab.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 4:52 am

I agree.

The petite burgeoise exploits the workers.

In the real sharing economy, social-economic equality and equality inputs will ensure that cars are state-owned, and all drivers must pick up all hitchikers.

Each according to his greens.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 7:43 am

"Sharing economy " is a dishonest use of the word share, it is just business under a different name. Sharing is when I share something I have with you for free.

Or you could say when some one gets a ride to the airport in a cab they are "Sharing" just getting a ride from a new friend , give the driver $40 to pay gas for car, cover insurance and a little extra money so the driver can get something to eat.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 5:03 pm

friendship or relationship where one person is always taking and the other is always giving.

This is sharing because I share something I have that you want (like a car or a home) and you share something that you have that I want (cash).

Fair exchange of value is a form of sharing, but we don't need no stinking bureaucrat all over it like a syphilitic rash.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 5:13 pm

There can be no game without rules, you couldn't play baseball without an umpire or rules, same goes with the economy you need the government to be a referee, or there would be anarchy, you know like there is a housing shortage so the first guy to run out and start building in golden gate park would get to own the land..which would be unfair to everyone else.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 5:28 pm

Guest tries lamely to put a cute spin on the nature of using Lyft/Uber, saying:
"he picks me up, takes me home, and I give him some gas money".

Baloney... The drivers of the pink mustache type cars...are doing it for a living, not for gas money.

The use of the word "sharing"...is bogus, too. If what they do is "sharing", then so, too, is going to Safeway...sharing... "I go to Safeway. I share my money with them.
They share their food with me."

These companies are ripping off the public and their own drivers on all the details:
insurance, rates, etc.

They are backed by international corporations who just dance past any and all
regulations, meanwhile ..making friends of the elected officials, to keep them silent.

Posted by john barry on May. 22, 2014 @ 6:23 am

It is an informal arrangement between two private individuals to share something they both have that the other wants. It closer to a barter than a traditional "big business" transaction.

It is a grass roots movement that empowers people and increases choice - exactly what liberals should support.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2014 @ 7:10 am

..."they both have that the other wants" sounds to me like the 1%ers who have MOST of the money but still want my money. Do you mean, "one has that the other wants"?
To further extrapolate to the absurd the semantic gymnastics that occur by adherents to the "sharing economy": you have just parked your car and I want to share it. "No," you respond reasonably, "you have nothing I want." "I have a gun, and will let you keep your life." You then share your car with me, but because we engaged in barter rather than a traditional robbery, should I go to jail?
What's different between this and a regular robbery? Exactly...

Posted by Sivart on Jun. 03, 2014 @ 11:22 am

Because I am out during the day working myself, and commute by car, I do not use my garage during the day. So I share that space with you.

I get some income from an under-used asset and you get safe, secure parking right where you work. Everyone wins.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 03, 2014 @ 11:35 am
Posted by Guest on May. 15, 2014 @ 4:29 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 15, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

All uber drivers lie to the insurance by stating for personal use not to be used in business but the do. Uber is not a ride sharing co they're for hire public transporter.
The 50k minimum insurance in a big accident is not enough.
Should CPUC be liable and the customer that summon them to get picked up? I think so because minimum insurance is not cutting it.
Elias

Posted by Elias on May. 15, 2014 @ 4:50 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 15, 2014 @ 5:09 pm

UBER did not disclose and didn't provide any details of INSURANCE policy to it's drivers. No Claim process disclosed to drivers. SFO is major transportation hub and all vehicles entering SFO must be properly licensed with permits and Commercial insurance. This is major security and safety issue. What happens if car flies of the curb with passenger inside, and rams into crowd at the door? Who will pay for this? Will UBER back out again , just like it did in New Year Death Accident. ? or poor Driver, who is making few bucks in the car, he is still making payments for ,will be held responsible and then finds out , his insurance will not cover for it...
IT'S ALL MAKES SENSE WHEN you START PAYING ATTENTION TO DETAILS....
UBER positions it's self as marketing platform, that connects drivers and riders and doesn't want to assume any liability for drivers.

Posted by Guest on May. 15, 2014 @ 8:06 pm

UBER did not disclose and didn't provide any details of INSURANCE policy to it's drivers. No Claim process disclosed to drivers. SFO is major transportation hub and all vehicles entering SFO must be properly licensed with permits and Commercial insurance. This is major security and safety issue. What happens if car flies of the curb with passenger inside and rams into crowd at the gate? Who will pay for this? Will UBER back out again , just like it did in New Year Death Accident. ? or poor Driver, who is making few bucks in the car he is still making payments for will be held responsible and then finds out , his insurance will not cover for it...
IT'S ALL MAKES SENSE WHEN START PAYING ATTENTION TO DETAILS....

Posted by Guest on May. 15, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

It's sad to see a once-fine alt-weekly become such an ardent defender of the status quo, no matter how dumb that status quo may be.

Posted by Guest on May. 15, 2014 @ 9:18 pm
Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 4:53 am

Jason Grant Garza here ... well another "sharing economy" company that apparently can BREAK the LAW since again there is NO ENFORCEMENT. Is that like AirBnb that where rental are illegal YET NO ENFORCEMENT and our wonderful Chiu wants to legalize? So what is the LAW?

So does this only happen here ... NO ... the same is happening in medical care, its denial and NO ENFORCEMENT. Go to youtube and type in Jason Garza to see over 400 videos over denial of health care, NO LAW ENFORCEMENT, having gone to supervisors, the SFPD, etc. Learn the GAMES and watch the INHUMANITY.

So my question is did SFO ticket for non insurance and non driver's license or just give them a warning? Remember a "level playing field" include consequences ... yes, the appearance of caring, the sweet meaningless words (propaganda) and as usual NO RESULT, NO CONSEQUENCE and wait ... WE DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH (people) available to enforce the law ... we need to hire more.

Let me give you another similar example ... in 2007 the city signed a confession with the Office of Inspector General admitting fault and guilt for breaking federal law http://myownprivateguantanamo.com/settle1.html for a case they had thrown out in federal court in 2003 with testilying and fraud C02-3485PJH for a crime they committed in 2001 ... it is now 2014 and NO ONE from the city, DPH, courts or city attorney have explained how I can have an arrest record never having been arrested before sitting next to a confession in which the city admits it committed the CRIME I was arrested for. So as you can see ... there is no HUMANITY and as the city ... I am sure these companies are getting away with as MUCH as they can.
Go to youtube ... type in Jason Garza )over 400 videos) learn the GAMES and watch the INHUMANITY.

Last question ... if NO ONE has respect for the rule of law ... do you really expect these companies to be concerned with the rule of law in employment, fair opportunity, etc? Keep DRINKING the KOOL-AID.

Posted by Jason Grant Garza on May. 16, 2014 @ 6:56 am

BTW Jason - have you considered the previous suggestions to kill yourself and make the political statement of the decade? You can do a lot more to bring attention to your case dead than alive.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 10:39 am

Ride-sharing is a FRAUD. It pays nothing back to local economy.
Ride-sharing cabs are magnets for tax evasion.
Regulatory agencies have dropped the ball BIG TIME in allowing this
fraud to operate and expand.

This is not competition, this is not technology. This is a CRIME that
is made profitable. Shame for all short-sighted politicians who support
this gutting out of small local transportation businesses and gutting
out of municipal revenue for the sake of allowing this banksters' sponsored
offshore fraudulent taxi scheme to operate.

Day will come when people will regret using this fraud.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 7:32 am

Me giving a free ride to someone does not create taxes, however.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 7:51 am

What happened to the laws regulating the transport industry? Seems like we are living in a country where there are no laws followed or law enforcement is incapable of enforcing them. Taxicab companies shouldn't forced to follow these laws either.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 11:49 am

The sharing economy has been growing explosively because people are sick of over-regulation.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

The "sharing" economy is growing rapidly because sociopaths are operating under a business model that is predicated upon breaking the law.

Posted by marcos on May. 16, 2014 @ 12:39 pm

long as it is the laws that progressives do not agree with.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

Leave it up to your self appointed progressive betters to dictate.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

They have over played their hands and the end is in sight as the matter enters federal courts in Texas, and Kansas City...couldnt happen to a more deserving bunch

Posted by Guest stewart on May. 16, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

Love the comment made by a driver when asked about trade dress: “One Uber-x driver reportedly asked to an officer, ‘why should I advertise for them?’" Trade dress isn't about advertising, it's about identifying a vehicle used for hire. The correct response for not wanting to advertise for Uber is don't drive for them. Otherwise, follow the rules.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

They obey the rules as much as any driver does.

Posted by Guest on May. 16, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

That's a joke right? The ICPUC(Incompetent California Utlities Commission) does not have any staff to do enforcement. This is the state agency that allowed Lyft and UberX to operate with the big insurance gap that was seen in the New Year's eve fatality accident in San Francisco on New Year's eve.

Although the ICPUC was told about the gap by the insurance industry, the CHP and the California Insurance Commissioner in the hearings last summer, they ignored them and allowed Lyft and UberX to operate with their fraudulent insurance scheme. The ICPUC still has not fixed the gap in their regulations.

Instead they are having interminable hearings. That is what the ICPUC does.

Posted by ClaimsAdjuster on May. 17, 2014 @ 11:07 am

Uber is a threat to its revenues. Our government in CA is first & foremost about employing people at inflated levels of compensation. The airport rep stating he is concerned about our "safety" is laughable.

Posted by Guest on May. 18, 2014 @ 10:37 am

power, control and wealth, the more it wishes to extend that. Anyone who seeks release from their clutches is viewed as a threat.

Reagan is probably the only recent resident who has really understood that the people need to take power back from the bureaucrats

Posted by Guest on May. 18, 2014 @ 11:34 am

Progressives hate the government until they can force it on people.

Right wingers hate the government until they can force it on people.

Posted by Guest on May. 21, 2014 @ 7:13 pm

Ok, and then you wake up. Uber X drivers are not insured for damage to themselves or their cars if they are involved in an accident. Uber X's policy does not cover them and their personal insurance does not cover them.

So yes, Reagan and his Iran/Contra Affair would allow him to understand this paradigm. I see your point now-fraud it's the America Way!

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2014 @ 6:37 am

Let's break all the laws. We don't need no stinking government.

Posted by Guest on May. 22, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

Yes, Uber follows in the footsteps of Napster and Youtube. Take the hard work of some, provide a big benefit to the masses, and nobody cares about the legal issues or liability because everyone is in love with convenience, fame, and quick fortunes.

All Uber X drivers are not personally insured nor are their cars if an accident occurs. Uber X drivers can lie to their insurance companies, but if a third party is involved forgetaboutit they are on the hook for a huge judgement that will follow them for life like a bad student loan.

Posted by Guest on Jun. 21, 2014 @ 6:32 am

Ride-"sharing" is a fake manipulative word. It misrepresents the truth about
what it really is.

Fraud-sharing would be far more fitting.

Note to ride-"sharing" drivers. You are thieves. And you know it.

Posted by Tony on Jul. 12, 2014 @ 6:53 pm

Cabs cant provide the service they want to because they're hamstrung by absurd medallion rules that allow the SF elite to reap enormous returns for work never done. Now Uber comes along and beats that archaic system, screwing over the cabbies and threatening the massive income streams of SF's judges, retired politicos and LEO's...the Uber drivers may not be perfect but they're making an honest living providing a service...can the medallion holders in SF say the same thing? Of course not, instead they scramble to come up with a new set of even more absurd standards and qualifications in a transparent and frankly stupid effort to squeeze out innovation. Look back through history and see how thats worked out for the incumbent. Get on board with Uber, stop screwing over regular cabbies or get the f out of the way and let the market sort it out. I simply have my fingers crossed that another hidden political gravy train in SF gets taken down. Whats next? The Board of Sups, Building/Permits or the city's involvement in state governed liquor licenses?

Posted by tired of the bullshit, headed to the airport on Jul. 26, 2014 @ 3:01 am

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.