Bay Area Tech-Driven Transportation Gets Legal


Ride dispatching services that are based on mobile technology have been confirmed as legal carriers in the Bay Area. New companies like Uber, Lyft, and SideCar that pioneered new business models, from ride sharing to “donations” as fees, had been defined as internet companies, not transportation services. Proposed new rules in a “Transportation Network Company” order written by the California Public Utilities Commission allows—and requires—these companies to acquire state licenses, and the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency has ruled that they qualify as charter-carrier services. Traditional taxi and limo companies had challenged the companies’ right to provide such services. It’s yet another example of disruptive innovation creating more choice for consumers.

John Howell, Editorial Director