Uber and other car services like it have grown so fast that local governments across the country have struggled to figure out how and whether to address them. Charlotte is no different.
Now our city is planning to review its rules on all kinds of “passenger for hire” vehicles. This includes your traditional taxi companies, black car services and other passenger shuttles. But Charlotte city leaders also want to figure out what authority they have to take a look at Uber and its kin.
If you’re a fan of Uber, you might want to be concerned.
There’s definitely a significant portion of the City Council that wants to hold Uber back. Councilman Al Austin said Thursday that he considers it a “rogue” industry. Several council members are saying they want to “level the playing field” between Uber and traditional taxi companies, which are governed by strict licensing, drug testing and training requirements from the city.
Charlotte will be limited in what it can do. The N.C. legislature passed a law this summer that puts regulation of car services where people book rides online firmly in state control. In fact, it specifically says that cities and counties are not allowed to require any additional licenses or fees of these companies.
Regulating traditional taxi or black car companies still falls to local governments.
City staff is planning to review its rules in the spring, and have recommendations for the City Council by the summer.