Even in Uber’s home state, the ride sharing app doesn’t get much love from the government. On Wednesday, the California Public Utilities Commission fined Uber $7.3 million for falling short of the commission’s reporting requirements.
According to the CPUC statement, Uber failed to report the number of accessible rides requested and given, the number of rides requested and given in different zip codes, and the cause of each driving incident experienced by Uber on the road. The reporting requirements are designed to help CPUC make sure that the service is administered without discrimination by disability or location.
In April, a different Californian judge ruled that a lawsuit by blind Californians accusing Uber of disability discrimination could move forward. Blind passengers reported drivers refusing to give them rides after seeing their guide dogs, and one woman said that her Uber driver locked her guide dog in the trunk. Federal law mandates that taxi companies and other transportation services transport service animals along with their owners.
Uber has thirty days to pay the $7.3 million fine, but the company says it plans to appeal the decision. The resulting appeals process could take months. “We will appeal the decision as Uber has already provided substantial amounts of data to the California Public Utilities Commission, information we have provided elsewhere with no complaints,” spokeswoman Eva Behrend told the Los Angeles Times. “Going further risks compromising the privacy of individual riders as well as driver-partners.”
On Tuesday, Uber introduced a special service for disabled and senior riders in Los Angeles.