California Regulators Say That Carpool Features In Lyft, Uber, And Sidecar Are Illegal

Ride-sharing startups Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar all recently launched carpooling services that aim to make rides cheaper for users by connecting them with other people who are travelling on the same route and don’t mind sharing a car with a stranger.

Turns out, though, those carpooling features are breaking the law, according to regulators in California.

CNET’s Dara Kerr reports that the California Public Utilities Commission has sent warning letters to all three companies which say that it’s illegal to charge individual fares to people travelling in one vehicle.

The letter to Uber, which CNET linked to, says that Uber may either petition for a modification to the current law or try to modify its existing permit to include the different business model that carpooling creates.

Business Insider reached out to Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar for comment.

A Sidecar spokesperson told said that the company hopes to work with the CPUC to allow it to continue its carpooling feature:

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