February 6, 2014 |
In the new world of the sharing economy, companies such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar have made a compelling case that government shouldn't treat them the same way it treats conventional service providers. They're not taxi companies; instead, they empower people to act as part-time limo drivers. But regulators still have to make sure that the public is protected when something goes wrong. A recent fatal accident involving a driver who used Uber highlights gaps in the insurance coverage that ride-sharing services, their drivers and state regulators can't ignore.
March 4, 2011 |
In Las Vegas, you can lose even before you hit the tables. The city’s cabbies are notorious for taking longer routes than usual, adding a good $10 to your $15 fare. You can protest, of course. But who wants to start a fun weekend escape with a fight? Well, you do, unless you like giving money away. I got taken for a ride on a recent trip from McCarran International Airport to the Orleans Hotel & Casino . Learn from my mistake. Here’s the most important tip: If you’re going from the airport to the Strip or downtown, your cabbie should not take you on the freeway.
September 4, 2013 |
Like many Southern California residents, I resisted ever hailing a taxi. The region's traffic and sprawl hinted at exorbitant fares. Figuring out whom to call and then waiting on hold to order a cab added to my reluctance. But now with a smartphone, I've found ordering a taxi has actually become inviting. Anxious waits have been eliminated because you can track a taxi's journey to you on a digital map. Estimating fares, paying them, leaving tips and getting receipts can all be completed through an app. People who avoid taxis because they consider them scary or their drivers frustrating also have easy smartphone options.
August 20, 2013 |
When he watches a NASCAR race on television, Greg Scott feels his heart sink if smoke suddenly billows from the cars of Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin or some other Toyota drivers. The smoke usually means one of Toyota's engines blew up from the enormous stress placed on the power plants. "I take it hard," Scott says. "I don't feel good at all. " That's because Scott helps build the motors at Toyota's engine plant in Costa Mesa. But when his drivers win "it's exhilarating," said Scott, a 16-year veteran of Toyota Racing Development.
October 31, 2013 |
Hey, ladies, the Beijing police department apparently doesn't think you're very good at driving. So they've singled you out to receive some, um, advice for when you get behind the wheel. Messages posted by the department on China's Twitter-like site Weibo reportedly have caused an uproar and are being labeled gender discrimination. Here's a sampling of the guidance: "Some female drivers lack a sense of direction. While driving, they often can't decide which road they should take .… Even for places they've been to several times, they still can't remember how to get there when driving themselves.” Women also might hit the brakes or the accelerator too sharply or forget to release the handbrake, the messages warn.
June 21, 2013 |
Nissan Leaf drivers throughout the U.S. will be able to upgrade to the latest lithium-ion batteries through a program costing $100 a month, the automaker announced Thursday. Nissan's current policy guarantees it will fix or replace Leaf EV battery packs which fail to meet performance standards during the first five years of ownership or before 60,000 miles. Under the new program, starting early next year, drivers of the 2011, 2012 or 2013 models will be able to get a new battery installed in their vehicles.