Uber faces limited suspension in NYC for noncompliance

Five Uber bases are said to have refused to provide city-requested ride data to the Taxi & Limousine Commission.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
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Ride-sharing service Uber was at the center of a flurry of controversies in 2014 -- and the trouble continues in 2015. Uber

Ride-sharing service Uber faces a limited suspension in New York City over allegedly failing to adhere to requests from the city's Taxi & Limousine Commission.

Between the period of April and mid-September 2014, five of the six Uber bases failed to provide to the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission any electronic trip data, legal documents allege. The Taxi & Limousine Tribunal, a division in the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, handed down a ruling on Tuesday, saying that Uber would need to suspend those bases until the company provides the data and each base pays a $200 fine. The one base that complied with the commission's request is still in operation and handling all rider requests, putting added pressure on that base.

"Uber continues to operate legally in New York City, with tens of thousands of partner drivers and hundreds of thousands of riders relying on the Uber platform for economic opportunity and safe, reliable rides," an Uber spokeswoman said. "We are continuing a dialogue with the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission on these issues."

Uber operates bases across New York City from which it dispatches drivers to users. While many cities in which Uber operates allow the company to solely offer a digital service, pinging drivers wherever they are to pick up users, New York City requires Uber to operate from bases where drivers first check in before picking up passengers.

The major difference in Uber's operation was part of a deal the company struck with the City and the Taxi & Limousine Commission to continue to operate in New York. The Commission took issue with Uber as a new competitor to traditional taxis and limousines. It's a common refrain in other cities around the world where Uber faces criticism from taxi companies. While some cities have been more welcoming than others, Uber frequently has had to make concessions.

At issue in New York City is the requirement to provide ride data to the commission. Uber has said publicly that it should not be required to provide such data, arguing that such information is trade secrets that could be used by competitors. The tribunal, however, says that the data it's requesting -- where drivers have picked up customers -- is not a trade secret.

Worldwide, Uber has been facing increasing scrutiny and has been banned in places like New Delhi, India, and Spain.

It's unclear whether Uber's other NYC bases will provide the requested information. The Tribunal has said it will allow those bases to operate again once the requested data is collected.

(Via Biz Journals)

Update 7:20 a.m. PT to include Uber's statement.