Driver Updates 5.22.15

Hello drivers! Here are your taxi updates for the week of May 18th. Have a successful and safe Memorial Day Weekend!

Congratulations to the drivers who have started getting calls from MTS regarding permit applications! As many of you know, last month Judge Prager denied permit holders preliminary injunction request that put the permit process on hold.

The court case is still going forward. Judge Prager, who wrote a strong argument against the preliminary injunction and permit holders claims, left for the Appellate Court and is being replaced by Judge Pollock for the full trial. We are hopeful that he will assess the case with the same legal accuracy as Judge Prager and uphold his ruling.

What does this mean for permits?

MTS will continue with the application process but will be waiting for the City of San Diego in order to get clearance to release the permits. Since the permit application process will take time, we anticipate that it will not slow the process down. Councilmember Marti Emerald will be meeting with us on MONDAY JUNE 8th at 6PM (flyer coming soon!) Come ask questions and get information about the case and what the City is doing to ensure that the policy is successful.

Free Downtown Shuttle 

UTWSD has been attending Civic San Diego meetings and recently the Cities evening Budget hearing on May 7th to speak out against a plan to introduce a low cost to free on-demand shuttle called the Circulator that has been proposed by Civic San Diego and the Downtown San Diego Partnership. They want to spend over $1 million dollars of public money to launch the shuttle that will compete with drivers downtown. Civic San Diego is a nonprofit corporation and is also an extension of the City of San Diego and with all the needs in our City, this is a complete waste of public money!
What’s Next?
Civic San Diego has taken requests for proposals (RFP’s) and is negotiating with a short list off vendors now. This shuttle will pick up anybody downtown at low or no cost to passengers, or in other words, steal drivers fairs. The proposal should be on the Civic San Diego board agenda on June 10th or June 24th. We will keep you updated when we know the exact day!
Uber & Lyft
UTWSD has been working at the state level with taxi organizations across the country from San Francisco to New York on legislation to stop the unequal treatment of rideshares.
There are currently two taxi-related bills, AB 24 (good) that we are trying to get out of committee and AB 828 (bad) that we are trying to stop. You can view the specific Bill language below.
 In summary:

AB 24 would prohibit the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) from issuing or renewing a permit or certificate to a charter-party carrier of passengers unless the applicant, in addition to existing requirements, participates in the Department of Motor Vehicles Vehicles’ pull-notice system. This bill would specifically require a transportation network company to comply with this and to provide for a mandatory controlled substance and alcohol testing certification program. The bill would also require a transportation network company to register any vehicle used in the transportation of passengers for compensation with the commission and display an identifying decal issued symbol prescribed by the commission on the vehicle. The bill would require that drivers hired or initially retained by a transportation network company on or after January 1, 2016, be subject to mandatory drug and alcohol testing prior to employment or retention and that drivers hired or initially retained before January 1, 2016, complete a drug and alcohol test before January 1, 2017.

AB 828 seeks to exempt vehicles that are associated with “Transportation Network Companies” (TNCs) from registering as commercial vehicles, even when they’re used primarily for commercial purposes.
UTWSD will be has drafted a letter of support (AB24) and opposition (AB828) that we plan on sending to legislaters as well as in person meetings.  Any drivers who would like to take part in these meetings give us a call at the office (619)255-7355 or email us at
In Solidarity! UTWSD

Questions or Ideas? Contact us here or call (619)255-7355