San Francisco and Los Angeles District Attorneys warn Sidecar over illegal Carpooling
On Thursday, the San Francisco and Los Angeles County district attorneys have sent a letter to Sidecar, a transportation network firm that connects people for shared rides, that could stop its ridesharing and carpooling features.
In August, ridesharing service companies such as Sidecar, Ubar and Lyft had announced new services that offer lower fares to people who carpool with strangers.
According to San Francisco and Los Angeles County district attorneys, Sidecar has violated Public Utilities Code 5401 for how it calculates fares of carpool for riders. Sidecar CEO Sunil Paul said that the company will continue offering its services in San Francisco. Paul also said that company is planning to offer services in Los Angeles.
According to Public Utilities Code 5401, the fares of transportation services must be calculated on the basis of time and mileage.
Paul said that attorneys have not considered time or distance in their calculation. He said, "That is simply not true. It may look that way simply because the prices are so low. What's going on is we're using time and distance. It's not a fixed fare".
The letter stated that the company has made false representations about its background checks, which led the riders to believe the services do not accept the drivers that have ever committed any crime.
According to Sidecar, its driver background checks flag for serious crime within seven years and driving violations within three years. Paul said that company will check closely how it states these things.
Associated Press has asked the district attorney in San Francisco for clarification. Uber has not received any letter from offices of the San Francisco and Los Angeles County district attorneys, while Lyft has not informed whether it has received any letter.
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