Government Technology

Ride-Sharing Makes Friends in Some Jurisdictions, Enemies in Others

Downtown Chicago Cab

April 30, 2014 By

Ride-sharing is changing transportation habits in cities across the nation. Rather than hailing a taxicab on the street or calling a taxi company on the phone, more passengers are using smartphone apps to arrange rides from ride-sharing companies -- and they're paying for it through the mobile app, too. Though this convenience is seen as a positive for citizens, traditional taxicab companies disagree -- and many cities aren't quite sure how to handle it. 

They're going to have to figure it out, though, because ride-sharing is quickly taking hold in metro areas. Ride-sharing firm Lyft in April launched service in 24 new cities in just 24 hours.

Some jurisdictions are tacking the issue. Take Chicago, for instance. On April 24, a proposal by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to impose some regulation on ride-sharing companies operating in the city was sent to a full city council vote (which is supposed to happen the evening of April 30), the Chicago Tribune reported.

The revised ordinance would subject companies whose drivers average more than 20 hours per person per week to stronger oversight, including requiring all drivers to obtain chauffeur’s licenses. Also according to the Tribune, the ordinance gives the city authority to cap “surge pricing” when there is peak demand, such as during rush hours. But critics say the ordinance lacks adequate consumer protections, and leaves it up to ride-share companies like Uber, Lyft and SideCar to police drivers and track their driving hours. 

In St. Louis, Lyft is dealing with a temporary restraining order from the city's taxi commission, which cited public safety concerns because the company's drivers aren't vetted by the commission, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported. Meanwhile, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says the city is working with Lyft rival Uber on allowing that firm to operate legally in the city. Uber has "suggested a few changes to the regulations," Slay wrote in a prepared statement. "The company has led me to believe that if those changes were made, it would abide by the other 80 pages of regulations and would seek certification from the Commission."

View Full Story

| More


RealOscar    |    Commented May 1, 2014

Madison, Wisconsin's police force is performing an all-out crackdown, with undercover officers, on these drivers. $1,300 tickets were issued to those baited in by false ride-searches. Still don't know where I sit on this issue. Some were charging huge amounts for a ride, though. I did try and call for a cab and got quoted $30. Didn't have the money on me. I found out that they take debit cards.

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Public Safety 2019
Motorola conducted an industry survey on the latest trends in public safety communications. The results provide an outlook of what technology is in store for your agency in the next five years. Download the results to gain this valuable insight.
Improving Emergency Response with Digital Communications
Saginaw County, Mich., increases interoperability, communication and collaboration with a digital voice and data network, as well as modern computer-aided dispatch.
Reduce Talk Time in Your Support Center by 40%
As the amount of information available to citizens and employees grows each year, so do customer expectations for efficient service. Contextual Knowledge makes information easy to find, dropping resolution times and skyrocketing satisfaction.
View All

Featured Papers