Mayor Lee calls for release of Uber, Lyft trip data

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee wants ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft to start releasing its data to The City in order for The City to address traffic congestion and safety possibly through a pilot program.

Lee said on Monday that he welcomes the companies to The City that offer residents and visitors to get around San Francisco, but said his number one priority is Vision Zero — The City’s goal of zero traffic fatalities by 2024:

“That gets compromised when you have drivers, whether they’re ride-share or individual drivers, stop in the middle of bike lanes as we experienced during Bike to Work Day, or holding up traffic while they pick up somebody or make unsafe U-turns.”

Lee added:

“Those kinds of challenges are what I want better data in order to inform our MTA and ourselves about how maybe we can organize and [have] less confusion on our streets in San Francisco.”

Another idea Lee suggested was for both companies to have fewer vehicles on The City’s streets.

The California Public Utilities Commission regulates both companies, and has been unwilling to share any data with city officials, including with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.

Lee said a staff member from the CPUC is working with The City on the possibility of getting the data from Uber and Lyft and sharing the idea of a pilot project.

San Francisco has no access to data like the exact number of vehicles driving on the streets and where they are picking up and dropping off passengers.

Lee said that the data could inform The City on how it can improve the already congested streets and prevent ride-hailing vehicles from illegal traffic maneuvers.

“Those kinds of challenges are what I want better data in order to inform our MTA and ourselves about how maybe we can organize and [have] less confusion on our streets in San Francisco.”

The City and both ride-hailing companies can meet their objectives if they work collaboratively, said Lee.

Lee sent out this warning that if both Uber and Lyft do not work with The City, officials make will make decisions about safety and decongestion of city streets that will probably not benefit both companies.

The San Francisco Examiner reports that Lee will reach out to Uber this week. A spokesperson from Lyft told the Examiner that they look forward to talking with Lee on his proposal.