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Graduation and Prom Letter Regarding Ride Services

tiger with valley and mountains and words Connecting Waters Charter Schools

Dear Parents and Students

Prom and, graduation season is fast approaching, and we realize that many will be using special transportation such as, limousines, and taxis to help celebrate.  We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the potential problems that can occur when hiring an unlicensed transportation carrier.  Unlicensed carriers operate illegally; fail to demonstrate compliance with insurance, safety, and driver requirements; and are less likely to operate safe vehicles.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) licenses and regulates limousines, party buses, and app-based ride services such as Uber and Lyft.  Licensed transportation providers must carry liability insurance and enroll in the DMV’s program that notifies the company when a driver accrues an adverse action on his/her driving record. Limousine and party bus drivers are subject to drug and alcohol testing.  State laws require a company and its drivers to ensure that minors do not consume alcoholic beverages on board limousines or party buses. 

While all app-based companies may transport minors, the CPUC requires a company whose primary business is to transport minors to ensure each driver undergoes a criminal background check.  Currently, the terms of service for Uber and Lyft require an account holder to be 18 years of age and for minors to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Whichever app –based company you choose we encourage you to ask about their policies for transporting minors.

While there is no guarantee that a ride with a licensed carrier will be problem-free, parents and students are less likely to encounter problems with a licensed company.  Make sure that you receive a written contract for the transportation and check the company’s license (TCP) number, which is required on all advertising, at www.cpuc.ca.gov/MoveAndRide.  You can also call the CPUC Transportation Enforcement Branch at 800-894-9444 and ask to verify a company’s operating authority.

Thank you for helping us to ensure that prom and graduation season is safe for our students.

 

Sincerely,
 

Sherri Nelson

Executive Director