Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA City Council and mayor at odds over ride-sharing companies

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The Los Angeles City Council may have missed its opportunity to challenge the operation of mobile ride-sharing companies because of a pressing deadline and Mayor Eric Garcetti's threat of a veto. 

Last month, the California Public Utilities Commission ruled that ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft fall under its jurisdiction, essentially giving them permission to operate in California. The PUC established rules requiring the companies to conduct criminal background checks on drivers, adopt zero tolerance policies on drugs and alcohol, and carry multimillion-dollar insurance policies. Cities and taxi companies upset with the PUC's approval of a competing industry have until Wednesday to file notices of appeal. 

Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz had introduced a motion to preserve the city's right to appeal the new rules, which he says could put existing cab companies at a competitive disadvantage. However, the mayor told KPCC Tuesday night he would veto any decision to limit the new companies in Los Angeles.

"I would prefer them not to [approve an appeal] and I would veto that," Garcetti said of the Koretz motion. 

And with Wednesday's deadline, the city council does not have time to override a potential veto, according to a deputy city attorney. 

"We're already going to be beyond the point where we can file an application," said Deputy City Attorney Mike Nagle. "If you had moved last week, you would have had time to override the veto."

The L.A. City Council technically pushed the issue to Wednesday's meeting when members are expected to review whether the city's administrative code allows them to act without the mayor's influence. 

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