It seems like every week, mega ride-sharing company, Uber, is in the headlines for one thing or another. This week’s headline involves a whopping fine of 7.3 million US dollars, payable to the state of California, ironically, Uber’s own birthplace.
The 7.3-million fine, ordered by the state, comes after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) found that Uber has “failed to comply with reporting requirements”. Uber has 30 days to pay the fine and fulfill the reporting requirements. If Uber fails to meet the requirements within the 30 days, the taxi-killing ride-sharing company will lose its licence to operate in the state of California. Uber does have the chance to appeal this decision. Uber’s company spokesperson, Eva Behrend has already told the LA Times that Uber will launch an appeal within the required time frame.
The ruling comes after CPUC claims Uber has not met the requirements to submit detailed reports to ensure that Uber drivers accept all passengers regardless of the conditions or locations. I.e, an Uber driver cannot refuse a hire while on duty if they don’t feel like driving to that neighbourhood, or if they don’t like the look of the hire, or for any reason. A hire is a hire.
CPUC claims Uber did not turn in detailed reports for 2014 and have been refusing to show CPUC the required records for 2015, to date. The appeal process will most likely take months and for now, it’s business as usual in California.
Meanwhile, in Toronto, the uber-battle between traditional taxi cab companies and Uber is heating up to an all-time high. Uber has Toronto cab services running scared and it’s about time. On the surface, cabs in Toronto seem like any other cities’ cabs, but a new investigative report from Peter Cheney of the Globe and Mail, sheds light on the almost mafia-like taxi cab plate owner empires, where the drivers themselves are the victims. It’s no wonder the traditional taxi cab industry around the world is doing their best to have Uber shut down.