In an effort to formalize regulations in San Francisco, both city and county officials are now requiring the drivers of ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft to apply for business permits.
Uber Technologies Inc. is U.S online transportation network company located in San Francisco, California. It has been considered as a reliable low-cost means of transportation. It's only competitor, Lyft, which is a privately held American transportation company, is based in San Francisco as well, has been slowly penetrating the ride-sharing industry. Quora describes Lyft's brand to be more about community and friendliness so drivers interact with passengers more, compared to Uber's brand being more about a professional service so drivers interact less.
The app-driven services have been making their initial rounds this past year across the United States which also means that there are external and internal company issues that are still being ironed out. Currently, both companies are receiving lawsuits from their own drivers. And one such issue is being discussed in San Francisco.
The reports explain that the two ride-sharing giants, Uber and Lyft do not recognize their drivers as employees. Currently, these drivers are considered as independent contractors and are not eligible to avail of any company benefits.
Meanwhile, to streamline regulations, the city's treasurer, Jose Cisneros, is requiring Lyft and Uber drivers who operate in San Francisco to get these business permits for them to continue driving for the ridesharing industry, as told by SF Gate. These drivers are now being required to pay $91 in order to be certified as a company driver. According to PC World, San Francisco has been planning on sending out letters to about 37,000 Uber and Lyft drivers to inform them regarding the new city business permit requirement. Another thing to note, is that this permit needs to be renewed every year.