By AMELIA HAVANEC
Capital News Service
LANSING – Uber may be a household name, but the entrepreneurial ridesharing company reached Michigan only two years ago, tacking Detroit and Ann Arbor onto its momentum for global popularity. Since then, the service has expanded to Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint and Kalamazoo. Meanwhile, many taxi companies, including ones in Michigan, have struggled to keep up with the technology and new business model Uber offers. And they face setbacks. In Grand Rapids, for example, the number of taxi drivers with active licenses is down 22 percent since last year, according to the city clerk’s office.
LANSING – Uber, a worldwide ride-sharing company priding itself in efficient service and safety through a downloadable app, may be in trouble in the state of Michigan. On March 25, Uber drivers and protestors gathered at the Capitol while state legislature held a public testimony to determine the fate of Uber in the state and discuss restrictions they hope to impose on the company, except the vote is now being pushed off till a later time. The two bills, according to Mike White, Michigan’s Uber general manager, are Senate Bill 0184 and Senate Bill 0188. Michigan Legislature’s website includes full documentation detailing the two bills. The basis of Senate Bill 0184 would put transportation companies like Uber and Lyft, a ride sharing company out of Ann Arbor, at the same insurance standards as limousines while allowing cities to regulate the companies at their own discretion.
By CHEYNA ROTH
Capital News Service
LANSING – Who should be in charge of regulating Uber, the app-based network of independent taxi drivers that’s operating in cities across Michigan? A state representative thinks the legislature should make the rules to provide consistent statewide regulation. But local governments that have already negotiated regulations with Uber and traditional taxi companies think the state should mind its own business. Uber is an entrepreneurial taxi service that connects people in need of a ride with approved drivers through a mobile app. An Uber driver can be anyone over 21 who has signed up, passed a background check, and owns a reliable vehicle with insurance.