By now, you probably know that the city of Los Angeles has taken drastic steps to curb its reliance on Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing services.
Last month, Uber and its drivers were banned from participating in the city’s annual Black Friday Parade, and the city announced that drivers who are caught using the company’s drivers’ app will have to pay a $200 fine.
The same day, Lyft announced that it would be ending its fleet of Lyft cars and drivers and will be relocating to a new location in the heart of downtown LA.
These moves were met with cheers from drivers, who had been left feeling as though their livelihoods were being threatened.
“It’s just a matter of time before the city does something,” said driver Joe DeSanto.
“I mean, it’s a business, it takes time.
And we’re still in the business of driving.”
Uber and other ridesharing companies are not the only ones to have had their jobs threatened.
Last week, the US Department of Transportation ordered a new study on ride-hailing companies to examine how ride-share companies could be used by the transportation industry, but the agency also warned that ride-sharing services were “likely to be used in the transportation of people for hire.”
Meanwhile, Lyft drivers have been in the news for a different reason.
On Friday, Lyft confirmed that a female driver who had used the company app to connect with passengers in her vehicle, called the company out on Twitter and shared the story on her social media pages.
“There was an incident today that was reported,” she wrote.
“Inappropriate behavior by a driver was reported.”
The tweet was subsequently deleted.
Lyft told Newsweek that the driver had been suspended, but Lyft did not provide further details.
In a statement to Newsweek, Lyft CEO Patrick Murck said that while the company had suspended a driver for inappropriate conduct, the driver’s case was not related to the Lyft app.
“While we’re deeply sorry for the actions of a passenger, we do not condone the use of any ride-services service to engage in sexual harassment or sexual assault,” he said.
Lyft did confirm that it was investigating the woman’s complaint.
But Lyft’s actions seem to be more about positioning itself as a neutral party than about safety, says David Gaffney, director of the Stanford Center for Internet, Society and Law at Stanford University.
“The way that Uber and others have been operating, they have been very carefully and very carefully trying to be a neutral company,” he told Newsweek.
“They’ve said it’s all about safety.
They’ve said they’re doing it in the best interests of the people they serve, but that’s not the way it’s actually going to play out in the long run.”
Uber’s move to expand its services to cities outside the US, however, is also in jeopardy.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to enact a new ordinance that would allow Uber and similar ride-based companies to operate in the Los Feliz area.
The council voted unanimously to allow ride-service companies to expand into neighborhoods in the LA region, where they already have, without any oversight from the city.
Uber’s position in the US remains unclear, however.
Last year, the company was awarded the “Best In class” award by the US Transportation Department for its efforts to help improve safety in the U.S. and abroad.
In April, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against Uber for misleading consumers and customers about its ride-booking service.
“Uber is clearly a technology company that has to understand the rules of the road,” says Gaffey.
But you can’t operate a service that is operating outside of a jurisdiction where the law is different.” “
If you want to operate a business outside of the US in a location where it doesn’t have to follow the same set of rules, then you can do that.
But you can’t operate a service that is operating outside of a jurisdiction where the law is different.”
Gaffay is skeptical of Uber’s arguments that its services are not regulated in the same way as taxis.
“People would say, ‘You don’t need to be regulated like a taxi company because you have the ability to operate within the law,’ ” he said, adding that the company is “fooling people by claiming that it doesn”t have to comply with the same laws as taxis in places like New York City.
Uber has already begun to build out its US operations in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it will continue to expand across the country.
“We’re trying to build up an infrastructure that works,” says Murck.
“But it’s going be very difficult.”
Lyft is still facing competition from a number of ride-app companies, including Uber, and some cities are looking to regulate ride-