Ride-Sharing Apps Irk Professional Cabbies
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San Francisco taxicab regulators are weighing what to do about a new breed of ride-sharing startups.
A handful of companies including Lyft and Sidecar have developed apps that connect drivers with people seeking rides.
Passengers may pay for getting from Point A to Point B and the companies get a cut of the action when they do. But the firms say they're not running a taxi service and don't have to comply with existing regulations.
Bay Citizen reporter Zusha Elinson says the services raise questions about who shoulders liability when something goes wrong.
“Insurance experts and lawyers say they are worried that these drivers don't have the proper insurance to cover in the case of an accident,” Brown says. “The companies require them to just have their own insurance policy. But cab companies, they're required to carry $1 million of insurance on each cab.”
San Francisco's taxi industry wants the city's Transportation Agency to begin regulating the new services.
In a related story, the New York Times reports Uber, a company based in San Francisco, is introducing a smartphone app to New York that allows available taxi drivers and cab-seeking riders to find one another.