Two popular transportation services have been ordered by the city to stop operating because they do not have the proper permits.
Lyft and UberX are companies that allow customers to go online and pay to have a driver transport them in his or her own private car.
The city says those vehicles are unregulated and the drivers are not authorized to operate any vehicle for hire or digital dispatch services without the required permits and medallions.
They say drivers must have a valid For-Hire Driver's Permit issued by the City and be registered with an active Vehicle for Hire company that has the proper insurance required by law.
But Uber spokesman Taylor Bennett said the city's approach to regulating the “ride-share” care services is flawed.
“It's like regulating Expedia as an airline when Expedia simply connects Internet users to airlines,” Bennett said. “I think there needs to be a little bit of education here that we need to do in terms of showing how our business operates and how we work and the value we provide cities.”
Bennett said Uber hopes to work with city officials to come up with new regulations that make sense for the city and the companies.
“We’re pro-regulation,” Bennett said. “We don’t think there should be none in place and we shouldn’t be without policies. We just want to make sure they’re the right policies.”
As it stands, the companies could be fined up to $500 for each violation.
But Bennett said Uber stands behind its drivers and will cover the costs of any fines the drivers might be issued for operating on the Uber platform.