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blog home Limo News Smartphone Apps Could Send You to an Illegal Bay Area Limo Service

Smartphone Apps Could Send You to an Illegal Bay Area Limo Service

By San Francisco Limousine Specialist on September 11, 2012

A recent article in the Sacramento Bee sheds light on a growing problem here in the Bay Area and across the country. Smartphone applications like Uber and ZoneRide that allow users to quickly find limousine service and make reservations may direct users to unethical and illegal limousine services without the user knowing that they lack proper licensing and insurance coverage. The tech companies that market these apps make little distinction between legitimate limo services and independent drivers who illegally transport passengers without required safety inspections, insurance coverage, background checks, licensing requirements and other important consumer protections.

One limousine service owner interviewed for the article made a very accurate assessment of what we and other legitimate limo companies think of these apps and the illegal operators that use them to lure unsuspecting clients.

"No one likes regulations, but we have to work under a broad set of safety requirements that have evolved over decades of operation and are intended to protect the passengers and drivers. Technology companies have recently found ways to bypass those rules, and the result is a growing number of unlicensed cars that are operating with no accountability," he said.

State transportation officials are increasingly concerned about the safety of passengers, as well as chauffeurs who may or may not know that they are driving for an illegal limo company. Officials are quick to point out that the vehicles owned by these illegal operators lack important requirements such as partitions between the passenger cabin and driver, no GPS equipment to quickly locate the limo in case of emergency, no state-issued company identification information to help customers lodge a complaint or other important customer safeguards.

Mathew W. Daus, the former commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, urged state officials that "regulators should be proactive in understanding smartphone application operations and take steps to ensure the regulatory scheme in each jurisdiction accounts for third-party transportation applications."

We could not agree more. We write often about illegal limousine services here in the Bay Area and around the country to help raise awareness about the scope of the problem and protect people from falling victim to unscrupulous drivers and operators. If you are looking for a San Francisco limousine service that follows and exceeds all California requirements for licensing, insurance coverage, vehicle maintenance and safety standards, call us at NLS Limo today at 800-339-8936.

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