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taxi.jpgOne week after drivers for UberX and Lyft gathered at the Capitol opposing efforts to regulate ride-sharing companies, taxi drivers offered a counter-argument Wednesday. A swarm of cabbies drove their taxis around the Capitol, honking their horns and carrying signs that read: "Let's All Play By The Same Rules!"

Many cab drivers oppose Assembly Bill 2293, a measure by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, contending that it doesn't go far enough to strengthen insurance requirements for ride-sharing companies.

Beth Powder, a San Francisco taxi driver who helped organize the rally, said ride-sharing companies should, like cabs, be required to have around-the-clock commercial insurance for their drivers.

"It's not enough," Powder said of Bonilla's bill. "We have to strike a balance. But thus far it's completely unbalanced with people operating willy-nilly without any oversight."

To build support for AB 2293, Bonilla organized a separate press conference that included the family of Sophia Liu, a 6-year-old who was killed by an Uber driver in a San Francisco crosswalk on New Year's Eve. Liu's mother urged lawmakers to pass insurance requirements for ride-sharing ventures, saying the "company needs to be responsible for the harm" they cause.

Debate over the legislation, which cleared the Senate Insurance Committee on Wednesday, centers on how much commercial insurance the ride-sharing companies should be responsible for when their drivers are looking for prospective passengers.

Another regulatory proposal had called for full-time commercial insurance until its author, Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian, D-Burbank, removed the language during a hearing last week.

PHOTO: A taxi driver carries a sign during a demonstration calling on legislators to regulate UberX, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies. Daniel Rothberg/Sacramento Bee

VIDEO: Daniel Rothberg/Sacramento Bee


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