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Uber, other car-hailing apps now a-okay with California regulators

Nicole Lee, @nicole
02.01.13
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Uber and similar ride-hailing apps have had their run-ins against authorities before, but it looks like the town car service is finally getting a reprieve, at least in California. Last October, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency issued a cease and desist order plus a $20,000 citation to private car ventures like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar over an apparent lack of permits and licenses. However, the commission changed its tune in December when it decided to evaluate the safety of such services, and has now suspended those complaints altogether as it works toward a resolution. More over, the CPUC officially approved ridesharing -- where the drivers are not specifically licensed to drive a limousine or a taxi -- thus legitimizing Lyft and opening the door for others to offer such services in the future. The CPUC states it'll still require "continued proof of insurance, Department of Motor Vehicle checks and national criminal background checks," especially if the service uses "non-licensed charter party carriers." Regardless, it's still a victorious day for lazy smartphone-wielding commuters in the Golden State.

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