Even though Uber stopped service in Boise last week, the city is moving forward with a law that would regulate online transportation businesses like it.
The City Council is set to review a draft version of the law Tuesday. Boise Administration Services Manager Craig Croner, who helped write the law, said the city hopes to hear feedback from Uber, taxi companies, limousine companies and other stakeholders.
Last week, after council members outlined a general vision for what they wanted included in the law, Uber announced that it would suspend service in Boise. The company called the provisions being discussed “unworkable and onerous.”
Uber spokesman Michael Amodeo said the company is reviewing the draft and wants to keep open lines of communication. But from what Uber’s read so far, Amodeo said, the city’s proposal confirms the company’s concerns about what it considers burdensome and redundant requirements for drivers’ insurance, background checks and vehicle licensing.
Councilman Scot Ludwig took issue with Uber’s behavior.
“The citizens of Boise shouldn’t be fooled by Uber’s ‘take their ball and go home’ negotiating tactics,” Ludwig said in an email. “The city of Boise will continue to diligently process an ordinance that is fair and safe for all Boiseans and still promotes the free market. Once enacted, Uber or a competitor will enter this lucrative market.”
The last few months have seen some tension between Uber and city government. The company started service in the fall but did not charge for rides, allowing it to operate without business regulation. But after Uber started charging late last year, the city cited a few drivers. Uber again stopped charging shortly after that.
Efforts to contact an Uber representative Monday morning were unsuccessful.