Consumer Advisory: Be smart when hailing a ride streetside

DENVER (Sept. 19, 2016) — The Public Utilities Commission (PUC), a division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), urges consumers to be aware of individual drivers illegally picking up passengers curbside in downtown Denver. Some of these drivers are operating outside of their PUC-issued authority by providing rides to people who approach them on the streets.

“Traditional taxicabs are the only PUC-regulated transportation carriers allowed to pick up street hails. Other types of transportation companies – such as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) and luxury limousines – are not allowed to do so under the conditions of their operating authorities,” said PUC Director Doug Dean. “Not only is it illegal, it is a safety issue for consumers.”

TNCs and luxury limousines are required by law to arrange rides only through their pre-scheduling and payment applications. By doing so, consumers receive details about the vehicle and the driver to ensure that they are getting into the right vehicle. Walk-up solicitations are not allowed. Luxury limousine rides must be prearranged by phone or on-line, and passengers cannot be charged on a per-person basis.

These requirements were put in place by the legislature to distinguish between different types of passenger services. All regulated transportation companies are required to have their vehicles inspected for safety and they must also show proof of liability insurance before they are issued PUC operating authorities. Drivers must undergo criminal background checks before they are allowed to drive. The only way for passengers to guarantee that these safety precautions have been met is to use transportation services that are properly registered by the PUC and are adhering to the limits of their authority.

If you have a complaint against a transportation provider, you may file it by phone (303-894-2070), email (dora_puc_complaints@state.co.us), or by using the PUC’s on-line complaint form (www.colorado.gov/dora/puc).

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About PUC

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) serves the public interest by effectively regulating utilities and facilities so that the people of Colorado receive safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced services consistent with the economic, environmental and social values of our state.

About DORA

The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit www.dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855/toll free 1-800-886-7675.

Media contact:
Terry Bote
Public Utilities Commission
303-894-2827
terry.bote@state.co.us