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San Francisco airport officials make citizen arrests of ride-share drivers

What do you do when innovation starts to replace established work? Try to arrest it, of course...

Cabbies and limo drivers are furious over the influx of car share companies like Lyft, UberX, Sidecar and InstantCab taking curb space and picking up/dropping off passengers that might have used a taxi service.  It is not just about competition (though let’s face it, it’s about competition.); taxis are licensed and insured to pick up people hailing rides at SFO and elsewhere.  Commercial ride/car share operations are not.  But, If car/ride share companies are not taxi services, then what is the big deal?

A 25% loss to the paychecks and profits of cab companies. 

With car share programs, peer to peer share programs, and peer to peer cab companies like Uber in Honolulu, it is no wonder cab drivers are afraid they will go the way of the VCR (for those of you who remember video cassette recorder). 

So what are airport officials doing to quell expanding protests by cab drivers?  Why, they are making citizen arrests and issuing citations for ride/car share participants who pick up or drop off at the airport, of course.

Car sharing companies have been told not to operate until new regulations of the industry are in place, but they are operating anyway.  Eleven such drivers have been arrested since SFO started issuing citations in July.

The same thing is happening in Seattle, WA, and is sure to happen wherever car share companies prosper.  Now, the good news for taxi companies is that these companies are not just competing with taxis. 

The bad news (which may be good news for everyone else) is they are actually looking to change the landscape of car ownership. 

We are all waiting for regulations to be created for these burgeoning “transportation networks.”  Established car share programs seem to welcome the potential new regulations which may include the more strict minimum $1 million per-incident insurance policy for vehicles and drivers and a zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol. 
BWC would encourage regulators to factor in the impact of regulations on future start-ups.

We all want safe and legitimately run businesses with regulations that hold them accountable.  We do not want to make innovation harder. 

For now, be careful if you’re being dropped off at San Francisco International Airport.

Kicking Asphalt

This article is from Better World Club's monthly eNewsletter, Kicking Asphalt. To receive Kicking Asphalt in your inbox, subscribe today!


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