Lyft, Uber, Bus? There Could Soon be Third Ride Share Choice In Town

November 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Metro announced Monday that it is pursuing a partnership with Via, a ride sharing company, to offer discounted rides to and from three of its key stations in an effort to close the “first/last mile gap” for its customers.

This project will be supported in part by a $1.35 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Mobility on Demand Sandbox Program.metro_logo_25

Using a mobile app similar to Uber and Lyft, customers will be able to book a seat in a shared vehicle going to or from three major Metro stations.

Which stations are going to be used in the collaboration will be decided in the next few months, Metro said.

Via specializes in pooled transportation by matching customers all headed in the same direction. “We’re making our systems more inclusive — because access to public transportation is a right, not a privilege,” said Metro Chair and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Everyone should be able to make a trip on Metro buses and trains, and these funds will help more riders get where they’re going quickly and conveniently.”

Metro said it will ensure that the rides are affordable for customers and will provide a payment solution for people who do not have a bank account.

The project is part of a two-region partnership between Los Angeles County, King County Metro and Sound Transit in Washington state where each region will be testing a new  partnership with a transportation network company.

“Our goal at Metro is to grow our service to provide more options and connections,” Metro CEO Phillip A Washington said. “We think this project has the potential to help us reach out to more people and, hopefully, make their lives easier.”

Metro said it is finalizing the agreement with Via with a goal of starting the project in summer 2018.

“Via’s shared ride technology is perfect for connecting more people to public transit. Metro is committed to offering innovative services to the public, and we are excited to help Metro solve the first and last mile challenge and help millions of new passengers take advantage of other public transportation options,” said Daniel Ramot, co-founder and CEO of Via.

Uber Llega en Español al Este de Los Ángeles

May 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Uber organizó un evento de inscripción el martes en el Este de Los Ángeles como parte de un esfuerzo para reclutar a más conductores de diversas comunidades, con énfasis en la promoción de su servicio uberESPAÑOL.

La compañía de viajes en vehículos privados que está en medio de su trabajo de inscripción “bajo demanda” comenzó en marzo.

Read this article in English: Uber Recruits Drives in East LA

El evento del martes se centró en inscribir a conductores con el servicio uberESPANOL, el cual empata a conductores que prefieren hablar en español con pasajeros que se sienten también más cómodos en ese idioma.

El servicio uberESPAÑOL se puso en marcha en Los Ángeles el año pasado y hasta el momento tiene cerca de 5.000 conductores, de acuerdo con Uber.

“En marzo, Uber se comprometió a crear 12.000 oportunidades de trabajos flexibles para los angelinos en los próximos 12 meses en todo Los Ángeles” dijo la portavoz de Uber Tatiana Winograd. “Hoy en día, con el lanzamiento de Trabajo bajo Demanda en Español, estamos trayendo ese compromiso a las comunidades latinas y traemos oportunidades de ingresos a nuestros vecinos de habla hispana”.

El concejal de Los Ángeles Joe Buscaino dijo que el servicio uberESPANOL “permite a la gente trabajar en inglés o español, lo que prefieran, aumenta las oportunidades de ingresos mientras que también sirve a pasajeros en áreas de L.A. tradicionalmente poco servidas en cuanto a opciones de transporte”.

Los participantes al evento que se llevó a cabo en el Salesian Boys & Girls Club de Los Ángeles fueron guiados a través del proceso de registro y sus vehículos fueron inspeccionados en el lugar.

En el evento estuvieron presentes representantes de grupos como el Consejo de Federaciones Mexicanas, la Liga Unida de ciudades de América Latina, Casa Nicaragua y Guatemala inmigrantes Unidas, entre otras.

Lincoln Heights; Hombre Muerto a Tiros por Pandilleros

February 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Un hombre fue muerto a tiros en su auto el martes por la mañana y cuatro miembros de pandillas—dos hombres y dos mujeres—fueron detenidos después de una persecución que terminó en La Puente, dijo la policía.

El hombre identificado como Steve Ibarra, 36, fue declarado muerto en la escena cerca de la intersección de la avenida Broadway y Griffin aproximadamente a las 2am.

Steve Ibarra fue muerto a tiros en la esquina de Griffin y North Broadway (EGP foto por Jacqueline García)

Steve Ibarra fue muerto a tiros en la esquina de Griffin y North Broadway (EGP foto por Jacqueline García)

Su auto portaba un sticker de Uber en el parabrisas, pero la policía determinó que la victima no era conductor del servicio de viajes, según el oficial Matt Ludwig, portavoz del Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles.

Las autoridades retuvieron el nombre de la víctima hasta notificar a sus familiares.

Según las autoridades, un sospechoso se detuvo junto  al vehículo de la víctima y disparó aproximadamente ocho rondas a la víctima y luego huyó con otros tres acompañantes.

Unidades de LAPD que respondieron a los disparos comenzaron a perseguir una SUV en calles cerca del intercambio del Este Los Ángeles. La Patrulla de Caminos la detuvo en La Puente sin mayor problemas.

Los ocupantes fueron detenidos e interrogados.

Los Angeles City Council Delays Action on Uber Pick Ups at LAX

August 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The City Council temporarily put the brakes Wednesday on a plan to allow ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft to pick up passengers from LAX so the city can further scrutinize passenger safety, disability access and other issues.

The council voted 11-2 to assert authority over an Airport Commission decision last month to allow ride-hailing companies to make pick-ups alongside taxis, shuttle vans and other transportation services at Los Angeles International Airport, which would become the largest airport in the country to permit such operations.

The move to halt the plan was spearheaded by Councilman Paul Krekorian and backed by five council colleagues who claimed “significant questions remain” as to “the propriety of mandating background checks, clean fleet requirements, non-discrimination and equality of access,” among other issues.

Council members Mike Bonin, whose district includes the airport, and David Ryu voted against the action.

The city’s Transportation, Commerce and Technology Committee will discuss the issue Aug. 18 before the matter returns to the full council.

Krekorian said the Airport Commission “wholly ignored” concerns he raised along with fellow Councilman Paul Koretz about whether ride-hailing companies are adequately regulated to ensure the safety of passengers.

Krekorian and Koretz sent a joint letter to the commission last month saying they would not support an agreement that lacked certain safety regulations that is “substantially similar” to one imposed on taxi companies, including provisions addressing disability access, insurance, environmental requirements and other issues.

Bonin said he supports the Airport Commission’s agreement, saying it contains requirements for “background check information” and institutes “very smart and innovative protections for neighborhoods around the airport.”

“I think there’s a lot of smart stuff here. I think as we delve into it, the rest of you will see a lot of that,” he said. “I look forward to having a robust discussion, but I will be voting no today.”

Uber drivers clad in blue and pink-shirted Lyft drivers filled the council chamber to speak against the action, while a contingent of taxi drivers — many of whom have complained ride-hailing companies skirt city regulations and have an unfair competitive advantage — also made a showing, though only a few spoke publicly on the issue.

Ride-hailing drivers said pick-ups at LAX are among the top requests made by passengers, who they say enjoy the low cost, payment methods and the ability to book trips on their phones.

Many said passengers often arrange to be picked up at a location near LAX, since ride-hailing companies are not currently allowed to pick up passengers directly from the airport.

“It’s kind of like, everybody wants a cheeseburger from McDonald’s — everybody wants it. It’s just something that needs to happen. I think a lot of people like the convenience of it,” Lyft driver Brandon Bailey told City News Service.

Bailey said Lyft does background checks that flag a driver’s criminal history, and the company operates a mentorship program to ensure the quality of drivers.

Despite the council’s action Wednesday, Uber spokesman Michael Amodeo said the company is hoping to see ride-hailing services incorporated at LAX by the end of summer.

“Riders and driver-partners across Los Angeles have voiced their strong support for more safe, affordable transportation options like uberX at LAX,” Amodeo said.

Lyft also issued a statement calling on the council “to move quickly and make options like Lyft available for Los Angeles travelers.”

Koretz said that no matter what he feels about ride-hailing companies, “they are going to wind up at the airport,” but he noted that the Airport Commission-adopted agreement is a rare opportunity for city leaders to consider stronger regulations for such companies.

The city is otherwise powerless to improve upon regulation adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission, which has jurisdiction on the companies.

The CPUC “put in the most minuscule level of regulations and prevented cities from going further for reasons that are not apparent to me,” according to Koretz.

Koretz’s position received a boost Wednesday, with the Los Angeles Times reporting that at least four men who received citations from Airport Police while driving for Uber have criminal convictions that would bar them from operating a taxi in Los Angeles.

The drivers were convicted of child exploitation, identity theft, manslaughter and driving under the influence, according to court records cited by The Times.

Ride-hailing companies are allowed to drop people off at LAX, but only transportation companies with permits can legally make pickups.

To obtain a permit under the Airport Commission-approved agreement, ride-hailing companies would need to have an active permit from the California Public Utilities Commission, sufficient insurance coverage, pay a $4-per-trip fee and a monthly licensing fee and follow other requirements.

Garcetti announced in his State of the City speech in April that he intended to allow ride-hailing companies to pick up passengers at LAX. The ride-hailing agreement approved by the Airport Commission is “part of my agenda to make getting around L.A. easier, faster and more affordable,” Garcetti said after the panel’s vote.

L.A. Taxi Drivers Required to Use App

February 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Taxi drivers in Los Angeles will be required to use electronic hailing apps to compete with newer ride-sharing companies, such as Uber and Lyft, under an order approved last week by the Taxicab Commission.

Taxi companies will have to sign up with a certified e-hail app by Aug. 20, according to the order.

In the meantime, a working group will be formed to create regulation for a certification system for e-hail apps that cater to the traditional taxi industry, such as Curb and Flywheel. The group will need to report back to the Taxicab Commission with its recommendations.

The order came out of a request by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the commission to “take all steps necessary to … level the playing field’’ between traditional taxicabs and ride-share companies, which use smartphone apps to connect drivers to riders, commission President Eric Speigelman said in December.

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