Angelenos have more options for getting around town than ever before, thanks to the arrival of services such as
The main advocate for the city's power grab is Councilman
Adopted last month, the PUC's regulations for "transportation network companies" such as Uber are modeled after its rules for limousines, including mandatory criminal background checks and training programs for drivers, safety inspections for cars and a zero-tolerance policy for drug and alcohol use. The commission also required that the companies carry more comprehensive liability insurance than limousine services do — and more than taxis in Los Angeles must carry. But it brushed aside pressure from taxi companies to treat the new ventures like something they are not — cab companies — just because they compete for some of the same customers.
Koretz says the rules are meaningless because the commission doesn't have the resources to enforce them. But that argument is rebutted by the PUC's quarterly enforcement reports, which show that it is issuing fines, sending cease-and-desist notices, disconnecting unlicensed services' phone lines and bringing criminal charges against alleged limo and shuttle rule breakers.
Granted, it's strange that the state should regulate some services and the city others, and cabbies may have a legitimate gripe about an uneven regulatory playing field that puts them at a disadvantage. But that's a problem for the Legislature to solve by ending the division of regulatory labor, or for the council to solve by lifting some of the burdens it places on taxis.