Mobile Commerce

Legislation Drives Uber Out Of Kansas

There’s no place in Kansas that feels like home for Uber.

Upon news of the Kansas state legislature’s override of the Governor’s veto on the ridesharing regulation bill, Uber took a quick move and hit the brakes on its Kansas operations Tuesday (May 5).

The vote from the Kansas Senate went 96-25 in favor of overturning Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto on the bill that is known as the Kansas Transportation Network Company Services Act. This bill adds extra insurance and background check restrictions that involve running them through the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Insurance requirements also add full collision insurance.

“Over the past several weeks, more than 6,600 Uber Kansas supporters urged their state legislators and Governor Brownback to support ridesharing services, like uberX,” Uber wrote in a blog post. “Unfortunately, Kansas lawmakers chose not to listen to their constituents, and special interests succeeded in securing an override of the Governor’s veto of SB 117 – a bill that makes it impossible for Uber to operate in the state.”

While Uber hasn’t ruled out the possibility of opening operations back up in Kansas, the company said it abruptly ceased operations in the middle of the day when the vote went through. In its criticism of the decision, Uber directed its blog post toward the fact that Uber provided hundreds of jobs across Kansas and offered new access to safe, on-demand rides during times when demand was high for the services.

“In keeping up the motto of this great state, ‘Ad Astra Per Aspera,’ we will aim to reach our goal of a permanent home for Uber in Kansas even after this challenge,” Uber wrote.

In the past month alone, ridesharing regulations have been advancing — passing in some cases — across the U.S. at a much quicker pace than in the past. As Uber also works to add more cities, many metropolitan areas are feeling pressures to regulate the industry.

Some are even looking to address the matter with a universal statewide law. Last month, Maryland, Arizona, Wisconsin and Massachusetts legislators all looked to pass stricter regulations on the industry. The main motivation cited in each of the cases has been focused around consumer protection, with lawmakers pushing that ridesharing services must be treated the same as traditional taxi cab companies. 

 

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