Ridesharing legislation raises concerns from local cab companies - Tucson News Now

Ridesharing legislation raises concerns from local cab companies

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

You could feel the effects of the latest action at the Arizona Legislature the next time you need a ride somewhere.  State lawmakers seem to be siding with social network ride-sharing operations that are challenging traditional cab companies for business.

The issue became especially heated when a 6-year-old girl in San Francisco was killed in the crosswalk by a driver for Uber.  The girl's parents have sued Uber, which has denied liability in the incident.

Now, there is growing opposition towards the new bill from local cab companies.  Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are gaining popularity in Tucson.  They enable you to call a car with an app on your phone.  Companies then send out messages to individuals who, using their own vehicles, are willing to pick up customers and take them to their destination.  Passengers pay for the service online.

One of the big concerns is whether these drivers are actually insured. That's where new legislation is sparking concern from local cab companies.  The Arizona Senate approved a bill that regulates the companies, but doesn't require the same commercial insurance policies as traditional taxi companies.

The proposal would require rideshare companies to insure its drivers with one million dollar policies, but only from the time the driver accepts a pickup until they drop off the passenger

Also, under HB 2262 rideshare companies would not require rideshare drivers be drug tested but would do so if a passenger complained that a driver may have been under the influence while on a ride.

I spoke with one local cab company that says the new legislation is alarming.

Denis Fabbrini with Taxi Tucson says,"Well I think it is absolutely wrong as an owner of a cab company I have to pay permits to operate a vehicle for hire. I have to pay commercial insurance, which is four times that of a personal vehicle. I have to pay the state for permits, I have to pay a business licence and I also have to undergo drug testing and provide vehicle records upon inspection."

AAA Arizona is also speaking out against the legislation saying that ridesharing services, in their current form, may pose a hazard to Arizona drivers. Read more here.

No one from Uber or Lyft was available for an on camera interview when we reached out, however Katie Dally, a spokeswoman for Lyft, did release this statement to Tucson News Now:

"We're glad that the Arizona senate sees the value in safe, affordable rides and economic opportunity that ridesharing can bring to local communities.  We look forward to continuing to move forwards with state leaders on regulations that will prioritize public safety and protect innovation and consumer choice."

The bill is being reviewed by the house and is moving towards a final vote.  

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