April 12, 2016
Is Uber Here to Stay in Kansas City?
An agreement between ride-sharing service Uber and Kansas City may be under threat as the company looks to expand. Without the agreement, which was crafted in April of 2015, Uber would have been forced to cease operations within the city limits. It is now pushing for statewide regulations that would preempt the local restrictions on its services.
Uber and Its Business Model
Uber is an app-based ridesharing service that uses independent contractor drivers. They contend that their services are not the same as traditional taxi services. Accordingly, Uber’s management doesn’t feel that its drivers should have to submit to the same regulations that are required of taxi drivers. The company claims that this will draw more drivers to offer their services to paying customers.
The New Legislation
Uber is supporting a new law that would mean that it would no longer have to buy vehicle licenses from the regulators in Kansas City. Additionally, drivers working in the city wouldn’t be required to obtain a certificate from the city that declares that they have insurance, can legally work in America and have passed a background check. Uber drivers and taxi drivers are currently required to obtain these certificates.
Protest Against Eliminating Regulations
Companies that offer taxi services argue that Uber is offering rides for money, which is precisely what taxis do. Taxis are regulated by Kansas City and various Missouri laws, and drivers and management claim that Uber drivers should be subject to all of the same rules that they are.
Community Support for Uber
The issue hasn’t been settled yet, but supporters of the ride-sharing service seem to be growing. Among them are the Urban League and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. These organizations and others argue that Uber provides opportunities for employment for low-income minorities living in the inner city.
What do you think about the Uber car sharing service? It’s always important to keep track of changing laws and legislation in order to be sure that you don’t accidentally get caught up in a legal battle.