Californians were hit with power shut-offs last weekend and were told to conserve energy by minimizing use as power needs could exceed availability. But some energy experts are doubtful that unusually high demand led to the shutdowns, alleging mismanagement on the part of the state’s energy grid operator.
The California Public Utilities Commission, the body that regulates ride-hailing, has unanimously voted to reverse a policy that allowed safety reports filed by Uber and Lyft to be kept hidden from the public.
Uber and Lyft can no longer keep their safety reports quite so secret. Their California regulator reversed a rule shielding that data from public view.
In January, the San Francisco Public Press published an investigation showing just how much we don’t know about the safety record of the ride-hailing industry. The Public Press recently hosted an event at which journalist Seth Rosenfeld offered the latest developments in the story
In a dramatic reversal, the agency that regulates the state’s massive ride-hailing industry has proposed that annual safety reports filed by Uber and Lyft should be presumed public. A San Francisco Public Press investigation published Jan. 7 found that the California Public Utilities Commission, the primary regulator of the state’s ride-hailing industry, has permitted the firms to file the reports confidentially on the basis of a single sentence inserted into the regulations as footnote 42, without prior public notice amid heavy industry lobbying.
The California Public Utilities Commission says it expects to decide by the end of March whether to revise or throw out an obscure footnote that it has used to justify keeping data about thousands of ride-hailing accidents across the state under wraps. “We anticipate issuing a decision on the matter in the first quarter of 2020,” commission President Marybel Batjer said in a letter dated Jan. 27 to Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. The agency also “has established a team dedicated to investigating potential TNC misconduct.”
The San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance has joined several legislators in calling for the California Public Utilities Commission to allow at least some public access to ride-hailing safety information.
Seth Rosenfeld, the reporter who broke the story that ride-hailing safety data has been kept hidden from the public with the help of the industry’s chief regulator, offers an update.
Two state legislators and the chairman of San Francisco’s transportation board say the California Public Utilities Commission should release secret safety records on thousands of ride-hailing accidents. Their comments came in response to a San Francisco Public Press investigation that found the agency has been keeping confidential reports on accidents involving Uber, Lyft and other app-based transportation firms for more than six years.
Audio interview: When investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld couldn’t find published data on Lyft and Uber’s safety records in California, he set out to find that information for himself