Transportation chairman warns Uber, Lyft against missing upcoming hearing

Transportation chairman warns Uber, Lyft against missing upcoming hearing
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House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioAirline CEOs plead with Washington as layoffs loom House report rips Boeing, FAA over mistakes before 737 Max crashes Pelosi: House will stay in session until agreement is reached on coronavirus relief MORE (D-Ore.) on Monday sent letters to ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft warning them not to miss an upcoming hearing.

“I intend to pursue legislative solutions to address numerous issues plaguing the ride hailing industry, many of which will be raised at this hearing," DeFazio wrote in letters to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and Lyft CEO Logan Green.


"These include conditions governing your partnerships with States and local governments and transit agencies, the labor impacts of your business model, and disturbing reports of public safety problems among those who use your platform. If you do not send a representative to testify at the hearing, you leave the Committee little choice but to make these policy decisions without your input.”

The hearing in question, called "Examining the Future of Transportation Network Companies: Challenges and Opportunities," is scheduled for this Wednesday.

DeFazio wrote in the letters that his committee has had "numerous conversations" with the two ride-sharing companies but has been unable to secure a representative to testify from either.

Uber confirmed to The Hill that it had received the letter but did not provide comment on its contents. A spokesperson for Lyft told The Hill that the company is "committed to engaging thoughtfully with the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure."

DeFazio's letter highlighted recents reports of "sexual predation by drivers, the need for background checks and deactivation of dangerous drivers, and inadequate wages."

Lyft last month unveiled new safety features following a string of allegations from riders who say they have been assaulted by drivers. The new features came shortly after 14 women sued the company for mishandling a “sexual predator crisis” among its drivers.

Uber has promised to release a transparency report with data on sexual assaults this year. An investigation last year found that more than 100 Uber drivers had been accused of sexual assault or abuse over the past four years.

Concerns about substandard wages for ride-share drivers have been at the center of a push to give "gig economy" workers full benefits and pay.

California became the first state to require Uber and Lyft, among other companies, to do so. 

The two companies are planning to funnel millions of dollars into a ballot measure intended to overturn the law.