UPDATE | 12-10-2013 2:10 p.m.: Added comments from Lyft officials, including admiral John Zimmer.
The agents at the Colorado Accessible Utilities Agency will ask the three-member agency on Wednesday to accessible an analysis into ride-sharing casework offered by San Francisco-based startups Lyft and Uber Technologies.
“The agency agents believes that they are accouterment accepted carrier account and they abatement beneath the adjustment of the commission,” said PUC agent Terry Bote.
Lyft launched in Denver in September. Uber began alms its ride-sharing service, alleged uberX, in the bazaar in October. Users barrage drivers for both casework via smartphone apps.
Uber Black will not be impacted by the proposed analysis because regulators accept already accustomed the service, offered via partnerships with accountant auto companies, the basic blooming light.
Unlike Uber Black, drivers for uberX and Lyft use their own vehicles. Lyft drivers mark their cars by agreement a creamy blush mustache on the grille.
Several assurance apropos beleaguer the ride-sharing casework back the cartage are not inspected by regulators and drivers don’t abide accomplishments checks with the PUC, Bote said.
Uber Denver accepted administrator Will McCollum addendum that the aggregation performs accomplishments checks on drivers and accurate inspections of their vehicles. Uber additionally offers added allowance on top of a driver’s allowance action to ensure that riders are covered.
“(UberX) provides consumers a reliable busline advantage through the accessibility of the Uber app,” McCollum said. “It’s 30 percent cheaper than a auto and still reliable.”
He adds that the account “offers drivers an amazing bread-and-er befalling to cut costs from their operating standpoint” because they’re able to use their own vehicle.
Lyft, which operates in added than a dozen cities, may accept skirted busline rules in added markets by classifying its rides as free. The Lyft app asks riders for a donation, with a appropriate amount, back they’re alone off.
“We accept been in blow with the Colorado PUC and see this as an befalling to abide the chat about Lyft’s peer-to-peer business archetypal and charge to safety,” Lyft co-founder and admiral John Zimmer said in an email. “Current PUC rules were accounting above-mentioned to a band-aid like Lyft actuality accessible and Lyft is not a accepted carrier. We formed collaboratively with the California PUC to actualize new rules that adequate both accessible assurance and customer best for this avant-garde new industry.”
A Lyft backer added that the company’s assurance measures accommodate all-encompassing accomplishments checks of drivers and agent inspections.
After Wednesday’s hearing, the PUC will accelerate belletrist to Lyft and Uber analogue the staff’s concerns. The companies will accept 30 canicule to respond. After that, commissioners will adjudge whether to accessible an investigation.
In the meantime, Lyft and uberX can abide to operate. Bote, though, said the companies may be accountable to administration penalties.
The Uber Black action in Colorado generated abundant backfire from technology enthusiasts who accept authoritative blank of the account could asphyxiate addition and drive startups abroad from the state. Auto companies accept been arch opponents of Uber and accompanying services, arguing that the startups accept an arbitrary advantage because they don’t face agnate regulations.
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