The ridesharing regulatory debate has flared again—this time in Los Angeles with a cease and desist letter sent to Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft yesterday. The debate questions whether these services are in fact livery businesses (which require a license) or are simply digital marketplaces facilitating connections between drivers and riders.
While this isn’t the first ridesharing regulatory battle, the cease and desist letters come as a surprise, since the California Public Utilities Commission agreed to allow these companies to operate while rulemaking is underway. Newly elected Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, campaigned on a technology and business-forward platform and will be expected to work against the cease and desist when he takes office on July 1.
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