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CPUC Fines Rasier-CA $750,000 for Violations of Zero-Tolerance Rules

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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today adopted a settlement agreement between its Consumer Protection and Enforcement Division and Rasier-CA, the entity that is wholly owned by Uber and operates Uber service in California, and fined the company $750,000 for failing to comply with zero-tolerance rules on intoxicating substances with respect to drivers. The CPUC also required the company to implement protocols to improve its zero-tolerance rules and compliance to make transportation safer for the public.

Following Rasier-CA's submission of its annual compliance reports in 2016, CPED began to investigate whether the company failed to suspend and/or investigate drivers after receiving a zero-tolerance complaint from a passenger.

On April 6, 2017, the CPUC opened a proceeding to determine whether Rasier-CA violated the zero-tolerance rules in Safety Requirement D of D.13-09-045. The safety requirement calls for companies like Rasier-CA to establish and enforce a zero-tolerance policy to protect the public against intoxicated drivers.

Of the 154 complaints reviewed between August 12, 2014, and August 31, 2015, CPED determined that Rasier-CA failed to promptly suspend drivers in 149 complaints, failed to investigate 133 complaints, and failed to either suspend or investigate 113 complaints. CPED also determined that the company violated a rule that requires that a driver be suspended promptly "after a zero-tolerance complaint is filed."

CPED and Rasier-CA agreed to the amended settlement agreement the CPUC approved today, under which Rasier-CA will:

  • Pay a penalty in the amount of $750,000;
  • Implement interim zero-tolerance complaints education and investigation protocols; and,
  • File a motion to expand the scope of R.12-12-011 to develop industry-wide standards for zero-tolerance suspensions and investigations.

"Rasier was lax at its earlier compliance with zero-tolerance rules, but I am hopeful it will improve those efforts going forward," said Commissioner Liane M. Randolph. "If Rasier does not improve its compliance with zero-tolerance rules going forward, we will bring further enforcement efforts against the company."

The CPUC began to regulate Rasier-CA's Uber service in 2011-2012, which led to Rulemaking R.12-12-011 to develop rules for the app-based, on-demand passenger transportation industry. With the adoption of D.13-09-045, the CPUC established statewide regulations, rules, and reporting requirements. As part of its oversight authority, CPUC staff reviews annual compliance filings regarding operations by the licensed company providing such service, which includes data on zero tolerance and other passenger safety rules.

Read the proposal voted on.

View documents related to the proceeding.

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