Ride App Uber Defies City Hall, Expands in L.A.
See also: Ride-Sharing Apps Fight Back.
Uber / Facebook
So the City of Los Angeles says your business is illegal and it needs to shut down ASAP. What do you do? You expand, of course.
Displaying some brass, the ride-app company Uber announced today that it's adding the San Fernando Valley, the South Bay and Pasadena to the areas it serves in L.A. County:
Not only that but the company wants to promote this by giving you a free ride, no mustache, pink or otherwise, necessary.
From now through Aug. 21, you can get $25 worth of Uber by using the code "LAExpansion" on its app.
In June, Uber, Lyft (the pink-mustache company) and Sidecar were hit with cease-and-desist letters from City Hall.
The L.A. Department of Transportation cried foul because, it argued, the ride apps didn't adhere to the city's strict rules and regulations for taxis.
Of course, the taxi companies, a powerful force at City Hall, weren't happy with the apps, either.
The ride apps argued that they were abiding by state rules and that the California Public Utilities Commission has given them a temporary green light that overrides L.A.'s regulations.
Last month California Public Utilities Commissioner Michael R. Peevey proposed that the ride-app companies be legitimized permanently, so long as they abide by certain guidelines.
Maybe Uber is celebrating.
The company sent us a statement from its L.A. general manager, William Barnes:
We're excited to expand Uber L.A.'s safe, reliable, stylish service to the South Bay, the Valley and Pasadena. Broadening the area we serve is important for riders and drivers alike. There are many drivers who use the Uber app who already live in these communities, so for them it makes the job even more convenient. At the same time, riders were used to getting an Uber from L.A. to outside of the city -- and now it will be easier for them to get back.