San Francisco Is Cracking Down On Uber, Lyft

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Ride hailing companies Uber and Lyft are facing a crackdown in San Francisco.

UPDATE 6/13: Embattled Uber CEO Travis Kalanick To Take Leave

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is among those applying renewed pressure.

Lee said, “You know change is good, especially if the objective is to improve.”

One would be hard-pressed to find a bigger tech booster than Lee, but even he has been butting heads with ride hailing companies in recent months.

“There’s too many reports about double parking, picking up people in the wrong places, compromising bike paths and bike lanes,” Lee said.

Lee’s not alone. The city treasurer wants more information to enforce business licences for drivers.

Meanwhile, the city attorney just subpoenaed Uber and Lyft as part of an investigation into whether the companies are abiding by local regulations on disability access, pollution and traffic.

San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim said enough is enough.

“The estimate is that there are 45,000 TNC drivers on our streets. We don’t need to see the numbers, we can feel it,” Kim said.

Kim has called for a 20 cent per ride fee, with the money going into improving traffic control.

“They use our roads to make a profit and I think when you use our city and public infrastructure that you should give back to the community,” Kim said.

On the other hand, Uber is immensely popular and a key part of the city’s economy.

Mayor Lee said, “They are employing several thousand people right now. And they are building their headquarters in Mission Bay, so on the economic level, they are quite a positive impact.”

Jim Lazarus with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce said, “They are an employer, potentially would have thousands of employees in San Francisco over the next five or six years.”

He said, “Well, there is no doubt that technology and job growth in general in San Francisco has created gentrification issues.”

But like other tech companies, Uber also has a reputation for ignoring local rules and concerns.

“I want Uber to change and work with us,” Lee said. “Be part of the quality of life that people enjoy, and not just making a lot of money.”

Kim said, “I think that it is important that they think of new leadership.”

“They could do much better,” Lee said.

The Uber board seems to agree that Uber needs to change.

Uber confirmed that Emil Michael, senior vice president of business, has left the company.

Michael had been a key executive there since 2013 and a close confidant of CEO Travis Kalanick.

On Sunday, Uber’s board of directors approved recommendations made by former U.S Attorney General Eric Holder, who led a team that looked at ways to improve Uber’s internal culture following allegations of sexual harassment and other workplace issues.

 

More from Phil Matier
Comments

One Comment

  1. Proving once again that there is nothing greedier, or more selfish than a Democrat out to use the government to take his neighbor’s property (through taxation) in order to enhance his own power, or wealth.

  2. Any firm that hires people like Eric Holder should be boycotted.

  3. 45,000 transportation network company cars. That’s 180,000 wheels on the hilliest streets of the world! I saw this story at PressCalifornia.com

  4. I don’t know why San Fran wants to crack down on ride shares. Last time I was there it was impossible to walk a mile without getting physically accosted by at least five or six scary homeless people. So I was taking Lyfts literally everywhere when I normally would have preferred to walk. I know this sounds like a joke but I assure you it is not.

    1. Sounds like you should toughen up there buttercup. This is what Democrat rule brings.

      1. Buttercup? Are you too dumb to see I’m criticizing such Dem controlled cities?

  5. “I want Uber to change and work with us,” Lee said. “Be part of the quality of life that people enjoy, and not just making a lot of money.”

    This means paying us bribe and doing what we want. It is possible that SFO will end up as corrupt as Chicago.

  6. Kirk Wayland says:

    “They use our roads to make a profit…” Yeah, so? That’s what Gas Taxes are for.

  7. Lann Man says:

    Kim has called for a 20 cent per ride fee, with the money going into improving traffic control.
    “They use our roads to make a profit and I think when you use our city and public infrastructure that you should give back to the community,” Kim said.

    And all this time I thought that paying your taxes took care of financially giving back to the community. Will the city next charge everyday people to drive to work on city streets?

  8. Ed Lee can go to hell. In a just world, he and a lamp post would have an intimate relationship…

  9. A good 7 out of 10 cars driving the loop around LAX airport are all Uber or Lyft drivers. Its become unbearable to simply drop off or pick someone up anymore.

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  11. Trina Tar says:

    Oh you silly peasants! How dare you choose convenience, punctuality, personal safety, and cleanliness over MUNI (which doesn’t offer those things)?! How on earth are the outrageous pension plans to be funded if you don’t buy a transit ticket?

  12. Shane Hanson says:

    They seem to forget they are not royalty and the people are not surfs. “They use our roads to make a profit” well, they aren’t your roads. They are city streets paid for by taxes. If I am not mistaken, the drivers are tax paying citizens, not property or surfs. So the roads belong to the drivers as much as the councilmen. But the liberals believe in feudalism and they believe the streets are their personal property. You peasants in California have gotten what you voted for. You voted for serfdom.

  13. Supervisor Jane Kim, says “they use our roads to make a profit.” Uber and Lyft both lose money. They are startups trying to expand fast. SF should support startups instead of micromanaging them. If they are breaking traffic rules, then enforce them! BTW, do taxi driver do same? Seems to me taxi drivers are worse –it’s just now there are more ride sharing drivers so they are getting picked on. Also it’s not Mayor Lee’s place to comment on whether Uber needs new leadership in this context. That’s no great insight at this point but it’s not relevant to the subject of enforcing the rules of driving in SF.

  14. “The estimate is that there are 45,000 TNC drivers on our streets. We don’t need to see the numbers, we can feel it,” Kim said.

    Ohhh… they don’t need to confirm it, they can FEEL it. And you wonder why flyover America laughs at people in SF.

  15. Eric Porter says:

    It’s worth mentioning that when more people take Uber/Lyft it means that they aren’t driving in circles looking for a parking spot. Looking for parking accounts for much of the driving in places like SF so ride sharing can reduce congestion. Perhaps the city needs more dedicated zones for pick up/drop off?

    1. Eric, people are not going to walk to another location to catch a ride. They want front door service.

  16. People should download the taxi app E-HAIL (www.goehail.com) it’s a universal app that’s made for taxis.

  17. The proposed $0.20 per ride should to be in agreeance to lighten the load of predatory ticketing, the drivers make wages at the same rate of self driving car, a full 15 to 20 years out. If SF is going to take $0.20 per ride tax they should exempt drivers from business licenses or stop entrapment of any driver by painting evey street as a bus zone, taxi zone, or unloading zone. There are no safe places to drop off passengers if you’re a rideshare driver or an ordinary citizen.

    Also, I am not a fan of Uber’s of Lyft’s exploitative practices of driver’s pay, but if they give the city of SF their personal data they will be opened to a torrent of lawsuits that will be their downfall. They are worried about bankruptcy if the data that public will have acces to will create a line of lawsuits that prior passenger can take advantage of and have privy to.

    As an advocate to fix the industry I am all for restructuring a fair, compliant, financially stable rideshare industry for all, but shows the lack of business saavy and critical thinking Jane Kim has in her role as SF supervisor. Myself and my colleague Michael Bovone at Rhyd are more than happy to help the SF Supervisors Department understand the finer nuances of the transportation industry in regards to the disruptive technology of the Rideshare Market.

    You can read our debut article here if you like to get a glimps of how we feel we bridge the gap of technology, compliance, and the disparity of drivers pay: https://rhyd.co/myth-busted-price-autonomous-mile/

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