More good news for the sharing economy: state regulators with the California Public Utilities Commission have struck a deal with Uber, a day after announcing it has reached a similar agreement with ride-sharing start-up Lyft.
The deal suspends the cease-and-desist order that has been hanging over Uber since 2010 and eliminates the $20,000 fine the company had been asked to pay. The agreement states that ride-sharing – defined as rides provided by drives not specifically licensed to drive a taxi or limo – is legal. Uber has required drivers to have proof of a valid TCP license and proper insurance. The deal makes it possible to lawfully operate without a TCP license.
“This paves the way for Uber to begin offering ride-sharing services in California in the near future,” said Uber on its official blog.
“We’ve had discussions with a number of cities, and what we’re seeing is the momentum of cities embracing our kind of innovation,” said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in an interview. “They realize it’s great for citizens who need to get around efficiently and its creating jobs.”
Uber was an early player in the now-crowded market place of using mobile phones to get a ride; in San Francisco, Uber drivers in sleek black town cars are ubiquitous. The company launched UberX, which features other cars like hybrids and SUVs, in July.
There’s no deal yet with Sidecar. Anyone know why? Insurance? 1099s for Sidecar drivers?