Our statement on the decision to delay the approval of robotaxi expansion in front of the California Public Utilities Commission
Opposition from department leaders, union workers, and residents of the City of San Francisco has forced the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to fully consider the risks involved with AV service expansion. While changing the agenda only three days before a crucial vote will inevitably suppress democratic participation in the public process, we see this action by Commissioner Shiroma as a sign that our campaign is working.
We applaud Commissioner Shiroma for doing the right thing by giving the commission more time to thoughtfully craft the detailed regulations the situation demands. We hope that this additional time will give regulators the opportunity to do more research, and to ensure their eventual decision is in alignment with the wishes of the people who will be affected. We urge the CPUC to avoid making the same mistakes made when regulating transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft nearly a decade ago, which were made based on unsubstantiated claims about reductions in VMT, congestion, and pollution, all of which turned out to be untrue.
Safe Street Rebel is calling upon the CPUC to delay AV expansion and roll back previous authorizations while the impacts of AVs on vehicle miles traveled (VMT), climate change / pollution, and public safety are studied by an independent government body. The CPUC must demand that AV companies share all data with the public, and establish regulations pertaining to safety, accessibility, interference with emergency responders and public transit, double parking, climate policy, and surveillance. Regulations should also ensure that robotaxi expansion does not threaten our Vision Zero and climate goals by unfairly competing with public transportation. The CPUC must address the fundamental misallocation of power by creating frameworks for the cities to hold these companies accountable.