Can Uber coexist in Burlington with current cab companies?




Can the ridesharing service Uber operate legally in Burlington without hurting existing cab companies?

The city of Burlington is proposing rules and regulations on the popular ridesharing app Uber which came to Burlington eight months ago. Those in the taxi industry in the area say Uber has hurt their business.

“Unfortunately they have gained market share from us while being in violation of this city ordinance. They affect us enough to notice,” said Charlie Herrick, Green Cab owner.

The city has said Uber needs to comply with the current taxi ordinance. Uber officials disagreed saying they are not a taxi service but a ride sharing technology company. Mayor Miro Weinberger, D-Burlington, is asking the city council to approve his proposal to regulate Uber. The proposed agreement is similar to Burlington’s taxi ordinance, but with one difference.

“Right now under our ordinance the background check is performed by the city itself. Under the interim operating agreement Uber would perform those,” said Chip Mason, ordinance committee chair.

The general manager of Uber sent WCAX a statement saying: “This is a smart solution that supports more choice and opportunity, while protecting public safety. We thank Mayor Weinberger and his staff for their hard work, and look forward to continuing to provide safe rides and local jobs in Burlington.”

Cab company owners say the proposal doesn’t go far enough.

What is the solution to making both Uber drivers and taxi drivers coexist and be happy and everything will work out for both?

“I don’t know the answer to that, part of the objective of these hearings that are to be held is to receive input on that exact question,” said Mason.

The city ordinance committee has until the end of the month to look at the mayor’s proposal and come back with its decision.



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