LA Mayor Eric Garcetti asked the city's Board of Taxicab Commissioners to consider scrapping unnecessarily burdensome rules that put taxis at a competitive disadvantage with app-based rider services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar. Licensed taxicab companies had seen total trips drop 21% in the first half of 2014 compared to a year before. But rather than streamlining the rules, the board doubled-down on taxi regulations, voting to require all LA taxi drivers to use a city-approved mobile app allowing customers to hail a ride via smartphone. In an editorial on Jan. 18, the LA Times editorial board concluded: "The city's proper role is to ensure the safety of passengers and accountability of drivers. If current rules prevent the industry from embracing innovation then LA needs to streamline them, not add a host of new ones . . ." Read more.