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Young Professionals discuss City’s proposed Uber ordinance with Councilman Moody

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WRITTEN BY ewright 3 years ago
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Members of CYP recently met with Bill Moody, Charleston City Council, to review and discuss an ordinance that the City is proposing regarding Uber, a transportation network company that provides an alternative transportation option to both residents and visitors.

Background:
In late 2014, Uber announced it would begin service in South Carolina, specifically in the Charleston area.   Uber is a transportation network company that provides an alternative transportation option to both residents and visitors alike and is now an accepted and well received option in hundreds of cities around the world.

Because of concerns raised over the inability to regulate such service and the fact that the state’s laws regulating transportation services were enacted long before this type of service was even contemplated, the State Public Service Commission issued a cease and desist order to Uber last month.  Since that time, the S.C. Public Service Commission has granted Uber a short-term certificate to operate through June 30.

Locally, the City of Charleston began working with Uber to adopt changes to their licensing regulations to allow the service but ensure it was a safe, reliable and cost-effective option.

Because Charleston Young Professionals support the development of alternative transportation options in the region, Charleston City Councilman Bill Moody agreed to meet with several Charleston Young Professionals to understand the issue.

Councilman Moody explained to the group that the City does not want to pass an ordinance unless all the players involved are treated fairly this includes Uber, Taxis, and Limos.  The City has outlined four specific areas they believe need to be addressed and agreed to with Uber:

  1. Business Licensing.  Uber tries to avoid the standard process of applying for a business license. The City has proposed two alternatives – either each individual driver optains a license or Uber obtains one license to cover all activity in the City.
  2. Commercial vehicle insurance:  Uber drivers are not insured to drive a commercial vehicle. Most of the Uber drivers operate with a personal insurance plan, which would not cover a passenger if an accident took place.
  3. Screening of drivers:  The City currently requires all taxi cab drivers must have a clean bill of health and a clean SLED background check on all driving records and be devoid of criminal charges.
  4. Price surging:  There have been reports of price surges during certain periods (New Year’s Eve) and the City wants regulations in place to prohibit such activity.

City of Charleston Uber ordinance.

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