Reporting sparks review of oversight of ride sharing companies’ dangerous drivers

Veteran reporter Seth Rosenfeld worked for two years to break through extraordinary secrecy at the California Public Utilities Commission and report on a lack of safety oversight of Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies. With a grant from the Fund, Rosenfeld reported for the San Francisco Public Press that the commission withheld safety reports not only from the public but also from other state and local officials. Rosenfeld discovered that the commission had no consistent standards for what should be included in the ride-sharing companies’ annual reports that describe accidents and assaults, including sexual assault by drivers. The commission, spurred by Rosenfeld’s reporting, is reviewing its oversight system for the industry and is expected to make changes to strengthen its procedures. One state legislator said in response to Rosenfeld’s findings, “I could get my 10-year-old to create a Google doc to better track this than what’s happening.”