The agency responsible for regulating the ride-hailing industry in California has failed to collect consistent data on claims of assaults, threats and harassment related to Uber and Lyft rides, a San Francisco Public Press investigation found.
The California Public Utilities Commission is required to collect this information from the firms annually to fulfill its mission of ensuring that their rides are safe. But previously confidential filings and recent interviews show that the agency has permitted the companies to use very different interpretations of the reporting requirements, raising questions about the data’s reliability.
The commission received the 2020 safety reports more than a year ago. But it was not until Sept. 22, two days after the agency released them to the Public Press and the first time it has made them public, that it sent letters to Uber and Lyft ordering the firms to provide “all definitions” of assaults and other misconduct used in their submissions for the last five years.