Taxi Drivers Protest, Lawmakers Debate Uber Bills


Uber App
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Lawmakers hold hearing on bill that would allow ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft to operate in Nevada.

Dozens of taxi drives rallied in Las Vegas and Carson City, protesting plans to allow transportation network companies, such as Uber, to operate in Nevada.

Shouting slogans like “No, no, Uber’s gotta go,” demonstrators marched in front of the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas Monday, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

But as the start of the hearing drew closer, drivers headed inside to a modest hearing room to watch lawmakers debate two bills allowing Uber and their drivers to return to Nevada roads.

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee held a lengthy hearing on Monday for SB 439 and SB 440.

One bill creates regulations for so-called transportation network companies, while the second piece of legislation provides a special class of insurance for Uber, and other similar companies.

Uber operates its ride-sharing service in 160 cities and has been trying to enter Nevada. It briefly operated in Las Vegas and Carson City until November, when a court ordered the company to cease operations.

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The court cited Uber for, among other things, operating without state certifications. Taxi companies argue Uber is asking for special rules to operate in Nevada.

The two bills debated on Monday would not define Uber as transportation companies, drivers would be considered independent contractors, and would be regulated by the Public Utilities Commission.

Uber and other transportation network companies would be required to have commercial liability insurance policies to cover their drivers.

The taxi lobby on Monday said it wasn't opposed to Uber operating in Nevada, what it was opposed to is a separate set of rules for transportation network companies.

"The Livery Operators Association of Las Vegas confirms that they are not opposed to any transportation company, including transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft entering the Nevada market as long as they transportation operator agrees to abide by the laws ... which oversees the regulation and licensing of commercial carriers in Nevada," said Kimberly Maxson-Ruston, executive director of LOA of Las Vegas.


Rick Velotta, reporter, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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