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NC Senate Passes Bill To Regulate Uber

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North Carolina regulates traditional taxi companies but not online ride services such as Uber. A bill passed by the state Senate today would change that, but critics say it leaves the fast-growing company with an unfair advantage.

In just a few years of existence, online ride services Lyft, Sidecar, and—especially—Uber have consumed taxi market share, but they’re so new, state laws don’t cover them.

“Right now we have no regulation on them whatsoever,” said Senator Tom Apodoca. “So, if you want to let them continue to go out with no regulation, no insurance, no nothing, vote against the bill.”

The bill requires background checks on drivers, company-provided liability insurance, and a $5,000 annual state fee. But, they would not have to register each driver or navigate local fees and regulations like taxis.

Senate Majority Whip Jerry Tillman said that tilts the playing field toward Uber.

“If you want one company, a large company, to be in charge of all the taxi services in the state of North Carolina, you can do this,” Tillman said. “And they’ll love that.”

The Senate passed the bill 41-5. It now moves to the state House of Representatives.