Uber ‘Ride-Sharing’ Moving Closer To Legalization In New Orleans

Residents in New Orleans may soon be allowed to use ride-sharing services, like those offered by Uber, to get around town, so long as the New Orleans City Council approves.

Days ago, the City Council’s transportation committee approved an ordinance that would essentially allow Uber, and other ride-sharing app services, to fully operate.

Uber Black, marketed as the solution to bad taxi services, is already operating in New Orleans after the City Council legalized the use of digital dispatching for car services back in September of 2014.

However, since Uber Black was legalized last year, the City Council proposed an ordinance back in January which would basically legalize Uber entirely.

Uber’s ‘ride-sharing’ service would allow for individuals to use their own vehicles to transport Uber customers around the city.

Though debate has sparked about how Uber would be allowed to offer ‘ride-sharing’ while bypassing city regulations that taxi cab drivers are mandated to follow, the City Council could be looking to roll back regulations for a change.

According to the Advocate, Councilman Jason Williams said cutting regulation on taxi companies to make way for Uber could very well be a possibility.

“A big part of the problem rests with a decision to regulate an industry at a time when there was a wave of deregulation across the country,” Williams said. He added that he would “vigorously support” taking another look at the regulations that are already in place and that were strongly backed by the Landrieu administration and tourism leaders.

Regulations are the biggest obstacles for an innovative ride-sharing company like Uber.

The company’s officials have already voiced opposition to a plan to regulate the ride-sharing service under the same rules as traditional taxi services because they say it will lead to less business and bad service.

Without rolling back regulations, though, the ride-sharing Uber service may never come to fruition because of these possible city-mandated standards:

  • Vehicles would have to be inspected by Uber.
  • Vehicles older than seven years would not be allowed to offer services.
  • Ride-sharing drivers would have to provide the city with drivers licenses and registration.
  • Commercial liability insurance would be required.
  • Uber logos would have to be present on vehicles used for ride-sharing services.
  • Criminal background checks would have to be conducted by Uber.

At this time, it is unclear when the ride-sharing proposal will go before the full New Orleans City Council.

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