Lyft and Uber have become extremely popular in San Francisco where those services are available. These apps let you hail in a ride and get to your destination. Nothing wrong with that, right? Well, there’s one more thing, these are carpooling services. If two people who have a similar starting point got a similar destination these two services will know that and will take both passenger to their destinations while charge them separately for a ride, though they will be charged a reduced amount of money considering they were carpooling. It seems like California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) isn’t all that happy with how these services operate, reports Re/code. CPUC sent a letter to Uber and let them know that the state law prohibits “charter-party carriers” from charging fares to individuals, while charging a total amount to all passengers is a different story.
“The section strictly prohibits a charter party carrier from charging passengers on an ‘individual-fare basis.’ In accordance with §5401, the Commission has consistently found that charter party carriers cannot charge an individual fare when carrying multiple persons in a vehicle, and, therefore, a person chartering a charter party carrier vehicle must have exclusive use of the vehicle.” said CPUC in their letter, quoting the law. There’s still no word from Uber when it comes to this. Uber and Lyft will probably try to prove that the law doesn’t apply to them, this particular part of it that is. CPUC legitimized ride-sharing last year when they created a new category of transportation network companies that include personal cars which are driven for profit, though it seems CPUC doesn’t consider Uber and Lyft a part of that category. This could be Uber and Lyft’s ticket out of this mess if it comes to a trial or something like that.
I am in no position to try out these services considering I don’t live nowhere near San Francisco, not by a long shot. How about those of you who do live there, have you tried either of these services out already? As for the rest of you, what are your thoughts on this?