Compromise coming over Uber versus taxi bill?

12:12 AM, Feb 22, 2014   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A compromise appears to be in the works in the turf war between taxis, limos and ride-share companies like "Uber" and "Lyft." 

Georgia House Bill 907 looks like it's headed to a possible floor vote. It would basically force those companies to follow many of the laws that taxi cabs and limos already have to. 

There are many components to the bill, but the big issues are these: 

-Just like cabs the ride-share companies would have to register with the state. 

-The cars would have to carry at least $300,000 in insurance and offer the option of credit card payments for passengers, not just cash. 

-Drivers will need background checks, fingerprints, and a chauffeur's endorsement added to their driver's licenses. But they'd get time to do all that without losing work. 

The revised bill is seen as a way of leveling the playing field for all sides, which is good because folks in the metro area really like the high-tech alternatives to traditional cabs. 

"What's the difference between me borrowing your car, you know, because you have an extra one and me just sharing mine with someone else because I'm at work and they're using it?" asked motorist Jean Ward, who's also the pastor at East Atlanta Church. "It's along those same terms; and to sit back and try to regulate it, I think that's another way to try and shut down the business so taxi cabs can make more money." 

To be fair, the taxi companies have apps as well, and you can hail them with your fingertips just like Uber and Lyft. The real discussion, those in favor of the bill say, is about safety. Knowing who you are dealing with when you catch a ride with a stranger for hire. 

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