Car-sharing services Uber and Lyft likely to keep operating in L.A.

It looks like lovers of car-sharing apps can sleep well tonight. Representatives from two of the three companies hit with cease-and-desist letters from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation suggested they will continue to operate.

Both Uber and Lyft cited the California Public Utilities Commission, which earlier this year cleared both companies to operate in the state of California. Sidecar, which was also hit with a letter from Los Angeles, also is permitted by the commission to operate, though company officials did not respond to my request for comment.

“We already signed an agreement with the California Public Utilities Commission explicitly stating that Uber services, including the eco-friendly uberX, are authorized to operate statewide,” an Uber spokesman wrote me in an email. “In this case, it’s the state PUC who has jurisdiction, and the PUC has explicitly given the authority for these drivers to operate.”

A Lyft spokeswoman sent a statement from company founder and president John Zimmer.

“Yesterday’s cease and desist letter from a taxi regulator within the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) is similar to what we received when we first launched in San Francisco one year ago. Since that time, we have
signed an operating agreement with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which allows us to operate legally throughout California. The CPUC operating agreement clarifies that we are not a taxi and demonstrates that this is a state issue.”

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