Taxi Protest

06/10/2014 2:45 pm0 commentsViews: 23

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – More than a hundred taxi drivers gathered outside

Taxi Driver in Los Angeles Photo by Gary McCarthy

Taxi Driver in Los Angeles
Photo by Gary McCarthy

today to protest phone app ridesharing services, such as
Uber, and to urge state lawmakers to stiffen regulation of these companies.
The drivers — clad in matching red shirts — said the services are not
only unsafe, but benefit from an unfair competitive advantage over taxi drivers
who must undergo stricter background checks and comply with more regulations.
Los Angeles council members Paul Koretz and Gil Cedillo, joined with the
group to call on lawmakers to adopt AB 612, a state bill that would require
rideshare services to comply with the same regulations now imposed on taxis.
Cedillo called the proposed regulation “common sense,” while Koretz,
who introduced a resolution in council to support the bill, said that without
such regulation, “these ridesharing services should not be allowed to operate
on our streets.”
Koretz said regulation recently adopted by the state’s Public Utilities
Commission for the services are “watered-down” and enforcement is lax. Recent
media reports indicate background checks were unable to turn up the criminal
records of some Uber drivers, he said.
Uber spokeswoman Eva Behrend issued a response saying the company offers
the “safest ride on the road and is committed to delivering convenient, safe
and reliable transportation options.”
The proposed state legislation is “about protecting entrenched
Sacramento special interests from competition,” according to Behrend.
“While Uber is focused on offering a safe, convenient and reliable
transportation alternative, Big Taxi is choosing to spread misinformation and
line their pockets,” Behrend said.

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