SFO Car-Sharing Startup Targeted By City Officials

FlightCar does not abide by the rules, city attorney says

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Rides to SFO have to be regulated, which means FlightCar might be in trouble, according to a legal filing.

    A South Bay-based car service that offers customers rides to San Francisco International Airport -- but doesn't play by the same rules as taxis and other ride services --  is now in legal trouble with city officials, according to reports.

    FlightCar, Inc. dodges fees and undercuts competition, according to legal action put forward by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera.

    Herrera wants the car service to pay a $25 per rental fee and share 10 percent of its profits with the airport -- rules that other rental agencies abide by, the Bay Area News Group reported.

    FlightCar believes the rules don't apply, however, because it is not based at the airport, according to reports.

    The legal action mirrors other moves made by regulators against ride-sharing startups like SideCar and Lyft. Supporters of these tech-friendly startups say that innovation and entrepreneurship are being unfairly squished by regulation-happy bureaucrats.

    FlightCar users "rent out their cars instead of paying for airport parking," according to the newspaper.

    SFO is entitled to collect rental fees from rental car companies, according to the city attorney.

    Rental companies paid SFO $94 million in fees in 2012.

    A legal date is set for July 1.