Uber Dodges Bullet In California

Uber, the smartphone-driven, towncar service which is very popular with the technology crowd, has just dodged a bullet in California, saying that it has reached an agreement with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) confirming that Uber is legal in California. Uber--which serves both Los Angeles and San Diego, in addition to San Francisco and Sacramento--said the move suspends prior complaints and fines against the company. Uber said the agreement says that ride-sharing - or rides provided by drivers not specifically licensed to drive a limousine or taxi - are legal, also opening up its ability to launch ride sharing services in the near future. Uber has faced strong, negative reactions from taxi and other transportation services, which have been lobbying and using local laws to lock the firm out of their local markets.

Uber launched its services in Los Angeles in March of 2012, and followed with expansion into San Diego in June of 2012. The firm's smartphone app lets users summon a towncar by simply clicking into the software; and rides are priced by distance and also by current demand for rides. Uber is currently fighting legal efforts in Colorado to boot the firm from its services there; and recently won in New York City, Washington D.C., and Boston for operations in those cities.