San Antonio Police Chief William McManus says drivers who work for those 'ride sharing firms' Uber and Lyft are breaking the law, and they will be arrested, 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.
McManus says his officers have begun sting operations where they summon ride share drivers using the firms' mobile app, and then when the drivers arrived, the 'passenger' tells them to go to a certain location. At that location, police are waiting. The driver is ticketed, and the car is impounded.
"It's targeting drivers and vehicles who are not in compliance with the city's ordinance," McManus said.
McManus says he is simply following the current city law, which calls for anybody who drives vehicles for hire to be inspected, obtain a special city license, and have adequate insurance.
Licensed taxi drivers also go through background checks, receive special training, and even have to undergo a class on how to get to local hotels, the airport, and tourist landmarks efficiently.
"The ordinance requires certain things, so that is why it all falls on public safety," McManus said.
He didn't say how many Lyft and Uber drivers will have their vehicles seized, but he hopes it convinces the drivers that they have a lot to lose if they continue to be involved in an illegal activity.
Uber and Lyft are also facing two separate federal lawsuits demanding that the get out of business in San Antonio.
One claims the drivers have failed to follow city licensing regulations and are providing unfair and illegal competition to licensed taxi drivers. The other claims that the ride sharing services are violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, because, unlike licensed taxi drivers, the Lyft and Uber drivers do not outfit their vehicles with wheelchair hoists and other devices to allow the disabled to be transported.