The California Public Utilities Commission, the body that regulates ride-hailing, has unanimously voted to reverse a policy that allowed safety reports filed by Uber and Lyft to be kept hidden from the public.
The San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance has joined several legislators in calling for the California Public Utilities Commission to allow at least some public access to ride-hailing safety information.
Seth Rosenfeld, the reporter who broke the story that ride-hailing safety data has been kept hidden from the public with the help of the industry’s chief regulator, offers an update.
Two state legislators and the chairman of San Francisco’s transportation board say the California Public Utilities Commission should release secret safety records on thousands of ride-hailing accidents. Their comments came in response to a San Francisco Public Press investigation that found the agency has been keeping confidential reports on accidents involving Uber, Lyft and other app-based transportation firms for more than six years.
When investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld couldn’t find published data on Lyft and Uber’s safety records in California, he set out to find that information for himself.
San Francisco-based ride-hailing giant Uber has advertised that it is “embarking on a new chapter of transparency, connectivity and community right here in the city we call home.” But the report does not include thousands of accidents involving the Uber app that the firm knows about.
After an evening of socializing in Santa Barbara, Margaret Schimmel and her brother, Joseph, hailed an Uber to take them home, but the ride turned into a nightmare, according to a lawsuit they filed against Uber and the driver in San Francisco Superior Court. The case illustrates Uber’s use of secrecy in responding to lawsuits that accuse it and its drivers of injuring people — and the hurdles that accident victims can face in trying to hold the nation’s largest ride-hailing firm accountable.
As PG&E undergoes a reorganization after declaring bankruptcy, cities around Northern California are working to figure out how to take over the distribution of electricity, hoping to better serve residents.
As local regulators push for greater or total electricity independence, some daunting realities confront the dream of a San Francisco free of the nation’s largest electrical utility and some of the highest rates in the land.