With exception of Post-Gazette writer Kim Lyons’ June 17 article “PUC Asks to Stop Ride-Share Services,” sadly, the local media have made little if any attempt to inform the public concerning what they need to know when patronizing ride-share services.
Each time a consumer jumps into such a vehicle, they do so (likely) unaware that they may be traveling without proper insurance. Of course, accidents do happen every day. Yellow Cab has more than 300 taxis on the streets of Pittsburgh and averages at least one minor accident per day. At least Yellow Cab has insurance.
Furthermore, each time a consumer chooses to ride with Uber or Lyft, they are supporting illegal operations — a black market, if you will, for which the consumer could potentially be held responsible. Some states already have warned consumers of the possibility that they could potentially face liability for accidents caused by drivers whom they hire.
In a June 22 letter “Consumers and Cabs,” Neal Wilson asserts that the Public Utility Commission’s enforcement efforts “ring hollow” when he should find comfort in knowing that the PUC is doing what it is supposed to do, look out for the public’s best interests and safety.
Mr. Wilson, like many others, assumes that these are legal operations and that drivers are properly insured. Like most Americans, he probably concludes that these companies are operating legitimately and in accordance with state and federal law when the opposite is true.