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New Rules Would Let Uber and Lyft Ridesharing Roam Free

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The state is rushing to legitimize quasi-cab services like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, because the future lies in smartphone apps that summon unemployed actors to do our bidding. The California Public Utilities Commission regulates the companies and gave them a temporary go-ahead in January; in June, Los Angeles sent a cease-and-desist letter (under pressure from cab companies), but all three continued to operate in the city. The services hook up riders with amateur drivers, who use their own cars, and they take a cut of the fares (in some cases, technically, a "donation"). Now a new proposal would create a category of businesses called transportation network companies; the CPUC would issue licenses and would have the companies "require drivers ... undergo criminal background checks, receive driver training, follow a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol and carry insurance policies with a minimum of $1 million in liability coverage," according to the LA Times. The new rules will be considered September 5.
· Proposal would let ride-sharing firms operate in California [LAT]
· LA Shutting Down Pink-Mustachioed Lyft Rideshare Service [Curbed LA]