CA judge considering $3.72 million fine to Uber 

Uber may be fined up to $3.72 million for failing to comply with reporting requirements to the California Public Utilities Commission, as a judge now weighs arguments from the parties.

In its initial push to regulate transportation network companies, commonly known as rideshares, the CPUC required those companies to share ride data. Though Lyft and Sidecar complied, Uber’s hesitance to share driver geolocation and other information may earn it a fine at the behest of CPUC Administrative Law Judge Robert M. Mason III.

“We don’t know when a decision will come up for a vote,” said Christopher Chow, a spokesman for the CPUC. Now the parties must wait.

The judge’s pending decision must then be voted on 30 days later by the CPUC, Chow said. The $3.72 million fine was assessed by CPUC staff at the end of January. However, the filing dates for Uber’s parent company to reply passed earlier this month. The judge will now decide whether Uber will ultimately have to pay.

“They’re not providing us with the data we’ve asked for,” Marzia Zafar, director of the CPUC’s policy and planning division, said when The San Francisco Examiner first interviewed her about this case in December.

The CPUC is collecting the data to verify concerns of the public, among them that rideshares avoid service in low-income communities and communities of color. The practice is known by civil-rights advocates as red lining. Attorneys for Raiser, a parent company of Uber, told Judge Mason in a March 6 letter they are in “substantial compliance” with the CPUC’s request.

“After nearly a year serving California communities, our data shows UberX is connecting riders to people and places they love in diverse neighborhoods across the state,” Uber spokeswoman Kate Downen told The Examiner.

About The Author

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Bio:
Born and raised in San Francisco, Fitzgerald Rodriguez was a staff writer at the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and now writes the S.F. Examiner's political column On Guard. He is also a transportation beat reporter covering pedestrians, Muni, BART, bikes, and anything with wheels.
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