With Regulatory Green Light, Uber Looks at Expanding to Ride-Sharing

By Cameron Scott 

uber, mobile apps, social apps, ride sharing, appsThe California Public Utilities Commission has made a deal with Uber, that will allow the company’s black car service continue to operate while rules are finalized that specifically address mobile apps that allow users to arrange for rides with black car drivers and private citizens.

Hailing the deal as a “big win,” Uber also said it “paves the way for Uber to begin offering ride-sharing services in the near future.” Uber has previously focused just on taxi and limousine services, leaving ride-sharing to competitors such as SideCar and Lyft.

SocialTimes reported yesterday that the CPUC had struck a similar deal with the ride-sharing app Lyft.

“This settlement agreement is part of a steady drumbeat of progress in which pro-consumer, pro-innovation jurisdictions like Washington D.C., New York City, and Boston are recognizing that everyone wins when new technology that fosters efficiency, affordability, and choice in transportation is allowed to flourish,” Uber said in a statement.

After slapping Uber, Lyft and SideCar with cease-and-desist letters for what it saw as non-compliance with rules that govern charter-car services, the CPUC agreed in December to convene a proceeding to work toward balancing public safety and innovation.

The deal made with Uber today and Lyft yesterday allow the companies to operate pending the outcome of that proceeding, which is expected to take six months.

A similar agreement with SideCar seems likely.