Authorities crack down on limo drivers soliciting fares

Police cited 12 San Francisco limousine drivers this month for illegally soliciting passengers, part of an ongoing crackdown by state and city authorities, including the San Francisco Taxi Commission.

Members of the California Public Utilities Commission and the Taxi Commission earlier this month posed as “secret shoppers” to see if limo drivers were illegally soliciting fares or operating without a license, according to authorities.

In one night, San Francisco police arrested 12 limo drivers and towed two vehicles, officials reported. The drivers face misdemeanor charges.

According to state law, limousines are only allowed to carry passengers through prearranged reservations, and may not solicit street hails like taxis.

“Our goal is to protect customers from unscrupulous operators who may be both literally and figuratively taking them for a ride and to ensure an even playing field for our 1,400 metered taxis and taxi drivers that must adhere to strict regulations and inspections,” Taxi Commission Executive Director Heidi Machen said.

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