SFO fed up with ride-sharing companies

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SFO says drivers for companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are operating at the airport illegally. (KGO)

San Francisco International Airport is fed up with ride sharing companies. They say drivers for companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are operating at the airport illegally and now SFO is turning to state regulators for help.

Driving travelers to and from sfo is big business. So much so that drivers for ridesharing companies like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are doing it anyway without the proper permits.

Gregory Bruno got a stern warning from an airport officer.

"He just basically said, 'Are you a commercial driver?' And I said, 'Well no, I work for Uber,' and he goes, 'That's commercial. You're restricted from picking up here' and told me to leave," Bruno said.

Many drivers have even taken off their so-called trade dress, Lyft's pink moustache for example, but SFO officers are still catching a number of drivers in violation. In a three week period, they've given warnings to 110 drivers -- 101 were from Uber, 7 from Lyft, 1 from Sidecar and 1 from Wingz.

In a letter to the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates ridesharing companies, SFO's director wrote, "the disturbing lack of compliance with CPUC requirements raises serious public safety concerns at the airport."

"We're finding drivers with expired driver's licenses, finding drivers with no insurance, finding drivers that don't even own the cars that they're using," SFO spokesperson Doug Yakel said.

SFO says a permit would solve these problems. Companies would pay $1,000 deposit and $3.75 per ride.

But Uber says it's concerned with the tracking devices that would be required for all of their vehicles which it says violate the privacy of their drivers and passengers.

It's the same technology required for taxis and limos. Cab driver Tariq Shehadeh says everyone should be held to the same standard.

"You know we're required to have insurance, whatever it is," he said. "We pay money, they don't pay anything. So it's completely different."

Changes may be on the way. The CPUC will be meeting with airport officials about this issue next month.
Related Topics:
travelcalifornia public utilities commissionuberlyfttaxiSan Francisco
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