Read here about Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft.  What are their effects on CO2 emissions?  How do they change travel patterns?  What is happening with attempts to keep private transportation companies from undercutting public transit?  Can they be made to pay for use of public roads and treat their drivers better?

Regulating TNCs

SF Sues California Over SB 182, Law that Shelters  Lyft and Uber Drivers
San Francisco is suing on the grounds that the law gives the drivers an unfair tax shelter and undermines the authority of cities to govern their own streets. “Uber and Lyft need to play by the same rules as every other business in San Francisco,” says city attorney Herrera. Read article.
By Adam Brinklow, Curbed San Francisco, Feb 9, 2018

SB182 Makes Regulation Tough for California Cities & Counties
SB 182 passed in October 2017 despite opposition from cities, counties, environmental and voter groups but with the support of business organizations including TNCs. It prohibits the state from requiring that a TNC driver be licensed anywhere except where the driver lives. This means a driver can be licensed anywhere in the state, and a city that wants to regulate driver training, charge congestion fees, or otherwise regulate TNCs on its own, has no way to figure out which drivers drive where. Read the bill.

Regulations by Cities, States and Countries
Presentation to American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Regulating Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) gives an overview of the situations around the country and the world.Professor Matthew W. Daus Esq., Distinguished Lecturer, University Transportation Research Center, August 2017
Map of TNC legislation by state in the US.  The map was last updated June 1, 2016, but the information consists of links to state sites that may be more up to date.


California lawmaker wants all Uber, Lyft cars to be electric by 2028
Senate Bill 1014 from Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) would set goals for the electrification of ride-hailing cars over the next decade, and set aside up to $300 million to help subsidize the purchase of electric cars by ride-hailing drivers. Spokespeople for Lyft and Uber said the companies were reviewing the bill. Read article
By Liam Dillon, LA Times, Feb 7, 2018

Effects of TNCs

Just a Velvet Curtain for the Rich?
In this wide-ranging interview, transportation author Jarrett Walker portrays TNC’s as just another thing wrong about car-based cities. “There’s a basic occupational hazard of being a relatively fortunate or successful person, which is that you have to remember that your personal tastes are not a good guide to what’s going to work for the city…. to create efficient urban structures that are going to get us the right outcomes when it comes to emissions or climate change… we have to be continuing to develop urban structures that are versatile, that can be gotten around by several different modes, rather than urban structures that are utterly dependent on the car and that force everyone to be a motorist… The new auto-based technologies are yet another way for fortunate people to just check out [of] reality” Read the interview.
By Izabella Kaminska, Financial Times, Jan 26, 2018

Negative Effects of TNCs 
Analysis and evaluation of the negative impacts that the proliferation of Transportation Network Companies (“TNCs”) have had on the environment, people with disabilities, underserved communities, social responsibility and the sharing economy.  This report was written for  New York University School of Law’s Labor and Employment Law Center and Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Professor Matthew W. Daus Esq., Distinguished Lecturer, University Transportation Research Center

TNCs Mean More Cars & Fewer Walkers, Bikers, Transit Riders
A new study by UC Davis researchers looks at “ride-hailing” services like Uber and Lyft (aka TNCs) in cities. A large portion of travelers use them rather than taking public transit, biking, and walking trips, or staying home. In other words, these companies put more CO2-spewing cars on the street. Check out this very readable summary in Planetizen, October 11, 2017, by Regina R. Clewlow, or download the report.

Effect on Travel to SFO – Cost pinch for airports and taxis
Fewer people driving to the airport doesn’t affect the climate if the only difference is that a TNC (Uber/Lyft) car takes them there.  This study looks at effects on airports and taxis. Reported by  Amy Zipkin, SF ChronicleDec 13, 2017 Updated: December 13, 2017.

Effect on Downtown SF – Data at Last
Uber and Lyft refuse to provide information, but researchers used GPS, talked to drivers, and sat on the corners counting. They found at least 25% of downtown SF traffic at rush hours is due to these companies driving one customer at at time. There are 15 times as many TNCs as taxis on the road at any given time. Quick summary report here (cool graphs p. 2-4).

Shared Mobility and Transportation Demand Management
The latest Susan Shaheen overview of the effects of bikesharing, carsharing, ridesourcing (Lyft/Uber), carpooling and vanpooling on travel behavior, land use, social relationships and the environment. About 5 pages.

Taxing TNCs for Transit, Road Use

Citizens like the idea that TNCs (Transit Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft) ought to pay to use public streets for their profit, as taxis do. New York does it. Chicago does it. Can SF do it?

Poll: Voters support new transit taxes, especially on Uber, Lyft
A survey by the SF Transportation Authority found that a majority of San Franciscans want improvements to the city’s roads and Muni system — and they think businesses including Uber, Lyft and food-delivery services, should pay for them.
By Michael Cabanatuan, San Francisco Chronicle, Tuesday December 19, 2017 Read article. Scroll down to cute video of kids learning to ride Muni.

Chicago is Taxing Uber/Lyft to Pay for Transit!
The Chicago city council approved a 15-cent increase to the 52-cent fee that is already added to every ridesharing trip. The original per-trip fee initiated in 2015 was directed to the city’s general fund, but the new ride-hailing increase is the first of its kind to directly fund public transit.
Andrew Small, CityLab, Nov 27, 2017 Read more

The Case for a Road-Use Fee
An academic makes the case for charging a fee to private services that stress the transportation infrastructure. The author is a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a think tank in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the author of Modern Man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow and Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City.
Anthony Flint, CityLab, Nov. 28, 2017 Read more

New York City Requires TNC Drivers to Have Taxi License
In order to pick up passengers in New York City for a TNC, any driver must be approved\authorized as a TNC Driver, and also get a license issued by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). The driver must use a TLC-licensed vehicle, and the vehicle must be affiliated to a TLC licensed For-Hire Base (company). Read the FAQ page for New York City TNC rules.

New York State May Charge TNC Riders for Traffic Congestion
More than a third of ride-hailing cars and yellow taxis are empty at any given time during weekdays in Manhattan’s main business district. Gov. Cuomo is expected to announce a congestion pricing plan, which must be approved by the State Legislature, as soon as January. Read the article
By Winnie Hu, New York Times, Dec 26, 2017

TNC Driver Equity

CA Requires TNCs to Insure Drivers (somewhat)
California passed a bill in 2014 (Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord) to require that TNCs provide some insurance coverage to their drivers. The law signed last year, Assembly Bill 2293, requires TNCs to carry a $1 million commercial policy for death, personal injury, and property damage, and it specifies coverages for different driving periods. Read the article.
Farmers Insurance said they would provide the insurance.
The Farmers insurance covers the period when a rideshare driver has on a smartphone app and is actively looking for a ride. During this period, under AB 2293 either the TNC or driver must have insurance for $50,000/$100,000/$30,000 with excess coverage of $200,000.
By Don Jergler, The Insurance Journal, May 27, 2015

About Bonilla: No longer a representative, she is now at the conservative Council for a Strong America. In addition to the TNC insurance bill, she wrote a bill supporting AV testing for public transit. AB 1592 authorized the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to conduct a pilot project to test low-speed, multi-passenger, shared autonomous vehicles that are not equipped with a steering wheel, brake pedal, accelerator or operator. This would help expand CCTA’s existing transportation technology testing program at GoMentum Station in the former United States Navy weapons station in Concord. Read the article.
East County Today, Aug 31, 2016

TNCs vs Taxis

Five Key Issues Holding Up Legislation on TNCs
This paper reviews 5 key issues 1) whether creating fair competition between TNCs and taxis requires loosening regulations on taxis or expanding regulations on TNCs; 2)requiring fingerprint-based background checks for TNC drivers; 3) mandates for wheelchair-accessible vehicles; 4) ensuring fair treatment of drivers; and 5) whether state or local governments should regulate TNCs. Downloadable report.
By Bruce Schaller November 9, 2016