Business

Uber operating in Boise as of noon

Boise City Councilman T.J. Thomson, one of Uber’s most vocal supporters in the city government, was featured in an Uber blog post Tuesday that celebrated the return of the ride-hailing service.

Gov. Butch Otter cleared Uber’s path to resume operations in Boise and, in fact, the rest of Idaho on Monday when he allowed a bill that governs companies that fit Uber’s description to become law without signing it. The law, written by Uber, offers less strict regulations on so-called “transportation network companies” than the city of Boise wanted to impose. It also prohibits cities from making their own laws to regulate this type of business.

Those details presented a dilemma for the governor. On one hand, he believes Uber is “operating in the best traditions of the free market – identifying a niche, developing a response to consumer demand, and making that service work at a profit within the confines of an often confusing patchwork of local regulatory limitations,” Otter said Monday in a letter to Scott Bedke, speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives.

On the other hand, Otter said he had reservations about taking authority away from local governments and potentially picking a winner in the broader transportation-for-hire competition.

“I am wary of the state unwittingly creating a competitive advantage for Uber over small local taxi services or other competitors,” Otter wrote in his letter.

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