E-Hailing Ride Share Services Making Strides Toward Legitimacy

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The state of California is set to consider new rules that could change the way regulators perceive e-hailing services and the safety of such.

The proliferation of such services has been ongoing every since smartphones and tablets have become a part of our daily lives. Uber, SideCar, Lyft and other services like them work by way of something referred to as e-hailing.  Basically, persons in need of a ride can look to their phones to see if a qualified driver is in the area.  If there is, they can hail that nearby driver and receive a ride.

Until now, the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees charter-party carriers, has looked unfavorably upon the services.  The recent months have seen the agency submitting cease and desist letters to the companies and citing them for violations with fines in the tens of thousands of dollars.

That perception could now change, though, as the CPUC has vowed to revisit the issue, seeking to strike a balance between progress and ensuring rider safety.  They will seek comments from the public for the next month and then take these comments into account while they attempt to arrive at a decision, which will likely be issued in the following months.  New York and Washington DC have similarly looked at the issue recently and changed their laws accordingly.

The e-hailing service companies have long stated that they are safe.